Aubergine Coconut Curry (with Stuffed Roasted Squash Option)

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  This curry is an autumn dream. It is simple, warming, so so comforting and totally delicious. With the sweetness of the coconut enhanced by a dash of cinnamon and a handful of raisins, this really is a perfect example of how comfort food can still be fresh and nutritious.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

4 small squash (this is to serve, so can be swapped for rice or whatever else you like!)

1 medium aubergine (about 300g)

1 white onion 1 large tomato (about 130g)

120g mushrooms (I used large ones for texture, but button mushrooms work fine)

a thumb of fresh ginger (about 12g, peeled)

1 red chilli (optional)

2 teaspoons of coconut oil

1 can of coconut milk

a large handful of raisins or sultanas

a pinch of salt

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If you are serving the curry in squash, start by preheating the oven to 200c. Then arrange the whole squash on a baking tray - it works well to rest them against each other so they stay upright as they soften. If you are using rice, remember to put it on to boil according to packet instructions.

In a large pan, heat the oil, spices and a pinch of salt. Then peel the ginger and finely chop it and crush the garlic, adding  to the pan.

Peel the onion, then cut it in half, then half again, then slice along the length of each quarter into thin pieces. Once the spices in the pan start to sizzle (don't let them burn) add in the onion. Leave for about 10 minutes until the onion softens, stirring regularly to prevent it from sticking or burning.

Cut the aubergine in to small chunks, and then replicate the size with the mushrooms and tomato. Once the onion has softened, add these to the pan and stir until everything is evenly covered in spice. Allow these to soften for about 5 minutes, then add the coconut milk and the raisins or sultanas. Bring it to simmer and let it reduce for another 10-15 minutes. If you are using chilli, I like to add it at the same time as the coconut milk.

Once the liquid has thickened, it is ready to serve. If you are serving with squash, once these are cooked they will be soft enough to pierce with a knife but still hold their shape. Remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to cut off the tops. Then scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh to prepare them to be filled with the delicious aubergine curry!

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