Aubergine Curry on a bed of Shaved Lime Fennel

I just got drenched in an icy, grey, winter rainstorm - but the thought of making this for dinner kept me warm and in good spirits the whole way home. This is one of those recipes that is hearty and comforting whilst retaining a certain opulence that makes it very impressive to serve to guests. So whether you choose to eat this in your pyjamas or serve it to your terrifying mother-in-law, its a guarenteed winner!

I love this recipe because it incorporates all of my favourite veggies and spices, as well as being super quick to prepare. An ideal cozy January meal - I hope you enjoy.


(serves 2-3)

For the curry paste:
- 1 Shallot, diced
- 2 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
- a 2 inch thumb of Fresh Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Green Chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Ground Tumeric
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin

- 1 large Aubergine
- 150g Green Beans
- a handful of Cavolo Nero, roughly chopped (any woody stems removed)
- 160ml tinned Coconut Milk
- 160ml Tomato Passata (or tinned chopped tomatoes)
- approx 8 tbsp Sunflower Oil 
- 1 large Fennel Bulb, or 2 small
- 1 Lime
- Salt and Pepper to taste

To Serve (optional):
- Fresh Coriander
- Flaked Almonds, toasted

- To make the curry paste, put all of the ingredients into a blender along with 2-3 tablespoons of water and blend until it creates a smooth paste. You may need to scrape down the sides or add more water.
- Chop the aubergine in half length-ways and then in half again width-ways. Then cut each section into three length-ways. You should be left with 12 wedges.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and brown the aubergine (you may need to do this in batches, in which case you may need to replenish oil from time to time). Once browned, remove the wedges from the pan and place them on a paper towel.
- Heat another 2 tbsp oil in the pan and add the curry paste. Fry for 2mins, constantly stirring. Then add the aubergine wedges coat them with the sauce.
- Pour the coconut milk and tomato sauce into the pan and combine everything together. Simmer the curry, partially covered, for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Meanwhile, shave the fennel very thinly. Toss together with the juice of one lime and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Once the curry has been simmering for 10 minutes, add the green beans and cavolo nero. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve the curry on top of fennel and garnish with toasted almond flakes and fresh coriander.