This dish proves that great Indian cooking doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming
From Saumya Singh, London
For those who expect Indian food to be made with dozens of spices, here is a an unctuous dish prepared with only one. Indians are magicians with spices. The number used is immaterial. Here, aubergine is cooked with just nigella seeds. As it browns, it picks up such a beautifully caramelised flavour that it is hard to stop eating. Also useful to know: cooking time is just six or seven minutes. Saumya, a banker, has many quick dishes at her command.
I ate it with a biryani and a raita and it was perfect. It may easily be served at Western meals, pairing comfortably with lamb chops, a roast duck, or grilled fish.
1 large aubergine (or 2 smaller), total weight 520g (1lb 3oz)
4 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
½ teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Cut the aubergine(s) into 1centimetre (½ inch) cubes. Pour the oil into a karhai, wok, or 25 centimetre (10 inch) frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it’s really hot put in the nigella seeds and, a second later, the aubergine.
Stir once or twice and sprinkle the salt over the top. Keep stirring for six or seven minutes, until the aubergine has browned lightly and is deliciously tender, then serve.
• This recipe is taken from Madhur Jaffery’s Curry Nation (Ebury Press, £20). Order a copy for £16 from the Guardian bookshop
via Life and style: Indian food and drink | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/nov/07/aubergine-with-nigella-seeds-recipe