My aubergines didn’t look at all well. Left at the bottom of the fridge from last weeks organic veg box delivery, they had really passed their prime. To make matters worse, along with the issue of time that had allowed our lovely, purple aubergines to decline, was a fridge temperature issue. It had frozen over and then defrosted. So I had soggy, bruised aubergines. It was a very sad affair, indeed.
All was not lost however. This is a saviour recipe. Perfect for those suffered and distressed fruits. Nothing must go to waste in my house, and having such a tighter food budget lately has intensified this ethos. This is by no means whatsoever a negative thing. Half a bunch of BLACK bananas have given us a fruity banana bread with a brown sugar glaze and a glorious banana sticky toffee pudding. A muddy overpopulation of carrots has given us a light, lemony, Italian carrot cake and roasted in a hot oven with batons of Kohl Rabi made the perfect accompaniment to a vegetarian toad in the hole. The next task is to use a large punnet of bruised, reduced strawberries, that I have bunged in the freezer. More on that later, I’m sure.
As for those aubergines, well give the poor things the respect they deserve in this recipe. You wont be disappointed. The original recipe suggests using these as you would a ‘meatball’ served with spaghetti in tomato sauce. This was the original plan, but an overload of pasta led me astray to a wonderful curry. Next time, spaghetti it is. Kudos to Abel & Cole.
For the Aubergine Balls:
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2 aubergines, diced small
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (red, white, shallots, spring onions)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed (garlic paste)
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper (table salt, any salt, ready ground pepper, white pepper, pink pepper)
- 1 lemon
- A handful of pitted black olives (green olives, capers)
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (green chilli, orange chilli, any chilli, a pinch of chilli powder/hot paprika/Cayenne)
- A large handful of fresh basil or 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves (coriander, parsley, thyme, any herb)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 mug of breadcrumbs (fresh is best but dried/panko are an option)
For the Coconut Curry: Serves 4
Heat a large frying pan with a teaspoon of oil over a medium-high heat. Add 2 small onions, sliced into rings and leave to sizzle, stirring occasionally until almost golden. At this point, add a diced green pepper and sizzle, stirring for a minute more. Turn the heat down slightly to about medium and add a tablespoon of finely minced ginger, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and 2 tablespoons of curry paste (I use Tikka Masala). Keep stirring for about 30 seconds then add a drop of water to cool everything down and begin the sauce. Stir everything together then add in 80 g crumbled or grated creamed coconut from a block. Stir to melt and add water as needed to reach a thick, creamy sauce consistency. Add in a handful of torn or chopped spinach and allow to wilt in the sauce. Pop in the balls and heat through. Serve with boiled rice.