- 1 Aubergine
- 1 small onion, finely chopped.
- 1 or 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic, I like 2)
- 2 green chilies.
- 1 dried red chilli (for added smokiness) – this is optional
- 3 Tablespoons of chopped tomato.
- 1 Teaspoon of cumin seeds. Toast the seed to release to release aroma and flavour
- Spice powder (1 Teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 Teaspoon red chilli powder).
- Salt to taste
- Some chopped coriander leaves
- 3-4 Tablespoons of mustard oil.
- Wash the aubergine and pat dry
- Pierce the skin of the aubergine with a fork and place over a gas flame, turning the aubergine every 2 mins until the aubergine becomes soft.
- Take the aubergine off the flame and leave in aside to cool for 15-120 mins
- Dry roast the garlic and died red chilli on tawa or a small frying pan until the chilli is black and the garlic is soft. Set aside until needed.
- Once the aubergine is cooled, peel off the skin and discard. You can use your washed hand to mash up the flesh of the veg or us a fork.
- You can mash the roasted garlic into the aubergine mash and crush the dry roasted chilli into small flakes and mix in.
- Heat the mustard oil in a pan and sauté the cumin seed for 30 to 40 seconds (do not burn the seeds). Add the finely chopped onions and cook until they start to caramelise around the edges.
- Add the salt, turmeric, and chilli powder and cook the spices for about 4 minutes. Add the Aubergine mash into the pan and cook for 10-15 mins.
- Take the pan off the flame, and decant the aubergine borta into a serving plate/bowl.
- Chop up the fresh green chilli and coriander and sprinkle on top.
- This dish can be eaten warm or cold and is best eaten with roti or plain white rice.
There are lots of variations to this recipe all throughout Bangladesh and South Asia. Instead of using Mustard oil, you can replace it with ghee or butter for a more luxurious taste and texture. The beauty of this dish is that it is one of my favourites that connects south Asians. We have so much shared history and identity.
When you can see past the differences, you find there is much more that connects us and we have many deeply rooted bonds. Also, this dish is can be linked to the middle eastern and eastern Europe recipes, we are all connected!
I chose a vegan version in respect to sustainable eating and inclusive to all as many as possible. This recipe is healthy and invigorating. I hope you try it and love it as much as I do.
In loving memory of my Nanu, who taught me this recipe on a visit to Bangladesh when I was 7 years old.
Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato) A Punjabi vegetarian classic
Oil or ghee to fry
I large cauliflower plus a few of the stalks and leaves – washed and roughly chopped
4 large red potatoes – washed, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium white onion – roughly chopped
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
I tablespoon of dried kasuri methi/fenugreek leaves
1 inch of ginger grated
3 cloves of garlic -crushed
2 medium tomatoes – de seeded and chopped
4 hot green chillies – chopped with seeds
1 level teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon of haldi/turmeric
Handful of chopped daniya/coriander leaves
- In a large karahi/wok/pan heat oil/ghee until hot add cauliflower and flash fry until lightly brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- Add more oil/ghee if needed to karahi and add potato – fry until golden – remove and dry on kitchen paper.
- Strain oil of bits to use for later.
- Wipe clean the karahi add the drained and cleaned oil/ghee an heat. When hot add onions and sauté until light brown, add cumin and mustard seeds and brown further.
- Add ginger and garlic and keep stirring. Add a splash of water to stop mixture sticking.
- Add tomatoes and let the mixture cook until integrated into a masala – neither too wet or thick.
- Add chillies, salt, haldi, methi leaves and stir – add a little water if needed.
- Add leaves/stalks to masala and cook until they have softened.
- Finally tip in the fried cauliflower and potatoes and cook for a final two minutes. Add water if needed. Garnish with daniya and serve with warm roti, naan or rice – and cooling yoghurt.