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I am excited. For me, one of the signs that spring is finally arriving is the appearance of aubergines at the market. Beautiful aubergines – firm and deep purple, with shining skins. Here is an easy and tasty way to serve one; you can make it in the time it takes rice to cook.

Aubergine and Chickpea Curry (serves 3-4)

1 large aubergine

1.5 cups cook chickpeas/one can chickpeas

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 onion

1.5 tablespoons garlic

1.5 tablespoons ginger

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

a pinch of chili

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt to taste

oil for cooking

Cut the aubergine into rough cubes and fry until soft. Add the onion, diced, and continue to fry until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, coconut, and all the spices but the garam masala. Fry these for a minute. Add the tomatoes, garam masala and chickpeas and cook for about five minutes. Add the lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Taste and season with salt.