During our last 2 weeks travelling around Austria and visiting family in Germany, our diet was completely different than usual and included much more meat than we are used too. The food was all great and we enjoyed trying out various traditional Austrian and Bavarian dishes. However, once we were back home, we were looking forward to be back on track and indulge in a more plant-based diet.
An all-time favourite dish is a good aromatic curry. Although it is best when left to sit for a couple of hours (or even a day!), it can be easily whipped up in an hour.
This particular curry includes a variety of spices which add a whole depth to the dish. Don’t worry if you only have some of the listed spices, it will still turn out great! And if you run out of red lentils, you can opt for brown or green lentils too! Mushrooms can be a great addition to this curry too, especially if you are using ‘meatier’ mushrooms, like oyster mushrooms.
I like to serve such curries with a side of spiced rice. While cooking the rice, I add a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a couple of green cardamom pods and half a teaspoon of cumin seeds to the water. The rice will then absorb the spice infused water, complementing the curry dish perfectly.
A curry dish will not be complete without some homemade naan bread. While the curry sauce is simmering away, there is enough time to prepare the naan bread dough. If I have more time to spare, sometimes I also prepare some homemade baked samosa as a starter.
Aubergine & Red Lentil Curry
A spicy, rich and healthy curry dish.
- 1 large onion
- 1 inch-piece ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 chili pepper
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large aubergine, cubed
- 100g red lentils
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 200ml vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Chop the onion, mince the ginger, garlic and chili pepper.
- In large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent for 8-10 minutes.
- Add the ginger, garlic, chili, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
- Add the cinnamon, ground cloves, turmeric and tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes, mixing constantly so they do not burn and stick to the bottom.
- Stir in the cubed aubergine and mix well to cover the aubergine with all the spices. Add another 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sauté for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Rinse and drain the lentil and add them to the aubergine. Pour the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock over and add the garam masala.
- Bring to boil then reduce to simmer, stirring slowly every couple of minutes. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until the sauce thickens and the aubergine and lentils are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot over a bed of turmeric spiced rice with a side of baked samosas and/or homemade naan.