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Whole Roast Aubergine with Curry Leaf Sambal

A fiery flavour bomb chilli sambal is cooked in curry leaf oil, finished with fried onions and crispy curry leaves. Piled on top of a whole roasted aubergine and yoghurt. This is a deceptively easy dish as the sambal ingredients can be thrown in a food processor and your good to go. I often make a big batch as its so delicious spooned on top of literally everything, or can be cooked down with coconut milk to make a delicious curry. Pair alongside rice or a grain for a wholesome dinner.

Serves 4



4 small aubergines

3 tbsp vegetable oil



5 small shallots

4-6 red chillies, seeds removed

2 tomatoes

1 lemongrass stalk, the bottom half roughly chopped

4 cloves of garlic

1 knob of ginger

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp smoked paprika


2 tbsp butter

1 lime, zest and juice

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)

2 tbsp tamarind paste


Handful of curry leaves (around 15)

Coriander leaves

Fried onions




1.     Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the aubergine on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. Roast for 50 mins until softened through. Slice through one side to open the aubergine and season the flesh with a little olive oil.

2.     Peel and roughly chop the shallots, chillies, lemongrass, garlic and ginger. Place them In the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. (You can do this by hand or pestle and mortar if you don’t have a food processor)

3.     Heat a frying pan with the oil and add the curry leaves, frying for 30 seconds or until they stop sizzling. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.

4.     In the same pan, add the butter to melt, then add the sambal paste. Sauté for 5 mins over a low heat until fragrant.

5.     Add the lime, sesame oil, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Fry for another 5 mins until the sugar has melted and the liquid has reduced slightly. Transfer to bowl.

6.     Wipe out the same pan and add the rest of the oil. Add the curry leaves and fry until crispy, then transfer using a slotted spoon to a plate to cool.

7.     Spread some yoghurt on a plate, top with the aubergine and spoon the sambal over the flesh. Top with the curry leaves, crispy onions and coriander leaves to serve.




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