This dish was one of those creations that starts off in one direction then takes on another, which is why I probably can’t really call it a ‘curry’, although that was the base. The addition of the marmite peanut butter (yes it’s a thing, and it’s SOOOOOO GOOD!) added a perfect extra flavour and texture to the dish at the end of cooking. If you don’t have access to this product, use standard peanut butter and add some marmite or an alternative umami flavouring that you like, or just the peanut butter.
I pre cooked the aubergines to ensure that they were fully cooked and as meltingly soft as they should be – in my view, very few things are worse than uncooked chunks of aubergine in a dish!
3 small aubergines, roasted whole (below)
12 baby plum tomatoes
1 small red onion peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
200-300ml thin coconut milk
2-3 heaped tablespoons marmite peanut butter
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Option: I also added some leftover whole roasted garlic cloves that I had previously roasted.
To roast the aubergines, prick the skins in several places, place them on an oven tray and roast at 200C/400F until they soften and collapse. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large pan, heat some oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and mustard seeds to the pan and cook until the onion softens. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, add the cumin seeds and chilli powder and cook briefly.
Add the tomato purée and coconut milk. Stir well and cook for a few minutes.
Roughly chop the aubergines and add them and the whole tomatoes to the pan, add the peanut butter and keep stirring as the heat allows it to soften and spread through the mixture. This is when the sauce will thicken up and the real flavour will develop.
Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Serve immediately with rice or grains, or allow it to sit for several hours or days to develop flavour.