Roasted aubergine with hemp seed chutney, pomegranate and fresh mint

This vegetarian Indian recipe is a real celebration of the aubergine. Slices of the vegetable are marinated in a spice rub then roasted until tender. They are topped with aromatic mixture of smoky charred aubergine, yoghurt, chillies and herbs. The dish is finished with an intriguing hemp seed chutney and a sprinkling of jewel-like pomegranate seeds

First published in 2021
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Roasted aubergine

Smashed aubergine

chutney

To serve

Equipment

  • Pestle and mortar
  • Barbecue or chargrill pan
  • Squeezy bottle

Method

1

Lightly toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and dried red chillies in a hot dry pan then grind to a coarse powder

2

For the smashed aubergine, lightly rub the whole aubergines with a bit of oil and place on a barbecue or open gas flame to char the skins and slowly cook the insides of the aubergines until they start to collapse and soften throughout (around 20 minutes). Once ready, place on a tray and leave to cool

3

Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4

4

While the aubergines char, make the hemp seed chutney. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz, adding water to achieve a purée consistency. Taste and season with salt then transfer to a squeezy bottle or piping bag

5

Cut the round Sicilian aubergine into 2.5cm thick rounds, brush with some oil and place on a baking tray. Season them on both sides with the spice mix then place in the oven and roast until soft and golden in colour (about 30-40 minutes)

  • 1 aubergine, ideally Sicilian and round
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
6

The charred aubergines should now be cool enough to handle. Peel off the burnt black skin and discard. Roughly chop the flesh and mix with the yoghurt, lemon juice, ginger, chillies, cumin seeds, herbs and season to taste

7

Serve the smashed aubergine on top of the roasted slices and garnish with dots of the chutney, pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds and fresh mint

First published in 2021
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After leaving India to perfect his cooking in the UK, Avinash Shashidhara worked his way through restaurants including The River Cafe before opening Pahli Hill Bandra Bhai, where he serves ingredient-led Indian dishes inspired by traditional recipes.

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