Meatless Monday is a worldwide campaign aimed at improving the health of people and the planet by removing meat from our diet for 1 day a week. Founded in 2003, Meatless Monday has gained immense popularity and whilst I haven’t actively done this myself, as a student, I do find that meat is expensive and also a bit of a pain to cook sometimes. With that, I came up with this Aubergine and Potato Curry.
I cooked this curry in a large batch so I could have some in the freezer on hand to defrost at any time. You can change this curry around to suit your tastes by using hot or mild curry powder or omitting the dried chilli flakes if you don’t like the heat. You could also add cauliflower, spinach or chickpeas if you want to; frozen spinach is brilliant in curries I find as it thickens it up nicely too.
I used tinned potatoes for my curry, it’s cheaper and much easier than cooking potatoes from scratch at just 15p for a tin that was just right for the amount of curry I was cooking. Frozen or tinned vegetables are essential items in my kitchen, it eliminates the need to prepare them and they can be more nutritious than their fresh equivalents as the nutrients are locked when they are flash frozen.
1 onion, chopped into 1 inch squares
1 pepper, chopped into 1 inch squares
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 carrot, cut into 0.5cm half moons
1 medium aubergine, cut into 1 inch squares
1 x 560g tin of new potatoes
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
¼ tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp garlic granules
4 tsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp garam masala
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
50g frozen peas
Place the onion and pepper into a saucepan over a medium heat with half of the oil and sweat the onion until it has turned slightly translucent and has softened slightly. Add in the carrot and continue to cook until the carrot softens slightly and then season.
In a separate pan or wok, fry off the aubergine in the remaining oil until the aubergine has browned on both sides. Season with salt and pepper and add the aubergine into the rest of the vegetables. Add in the tinned potatoes and add around 100ml of water and cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetables cook for 10 minutes.
Place all of the spices into the pan you cooked the aubergine in and toast the spices. You should start to smell the spices’ aroma as they toast. Once toasted, add in the tomato puree and mix the spices into the puree and let the puree “brown” for 2-3 minutes; by this I mean heat the puree through so that you intensify the tomato flavour.
Meanwhile add the chopped tomatoes with a teaspoon of sugar to the vegetable pan and swill out the tin of tomatoes with 50ml of water. Add in the browned tomato puree and give everything a stir to combine. Leave the curry to bubble on a medium high heat for around 10 minutes to finish cooking the vegetables and allow the flavours to amalgamate.
Adjust the seasoning and the spice to your liking and then add the frozen peas and leave the curry to boil for a further 10 – 15 minutes to thicken up. If it is still a bit too wet, you can remove some of the liquid and create a slurry with some cornflour, adding it back to the pan to thicken it.
When the curry sauce is to the desired consistency, serve the curry with some freshly cooked basmati rice or some naan bread; I bought some garlic and coriander naans which were perfect for mopping up the curry sauce. You can also finish it with a sprinkle of coriander, serve it with a cucumber raita or with some crispy poppadoms!