Aubergine and mushroom tikka masala.

Aubergine and mushroom tikka masala.

Cooked on : 21/5/15
Music: Jazz on 3 via BBC iPlayer
Drink: Ethiopian Coffee

I do 90% of the cooking at home as my partner prefers it this way, as do I. She is Indian and enjoys the taste of home but has a problem with the amount of ghee used in restaurants, which means I have attempted to produce authentic versions of takeaway meals in the kitchen without the swimming fat and cartoon red of most dishes.
This one is pretty much on the money, even though nothing is marinated, and given the fact that tikka masala is an Anglo-Indian hybrid.
Those other Anglo-Indian constructs, my sons, won’t touch it. This is due to bad parenting. It means they can enjoy fish-finger sandwiches or pasta and pesto on curry nights, then get back to destroying the known Universe or whatever it is they get up to. Hmm, must check one day.
I’ve intentionally left the amount of ginger unmeasured, as I’m assuming you’ll use as much or as little as you fancy. I get slightly riled when chefs say to use a piece of ginger as big as your thumb. Whose thumb? Contents may vary. Have you seen my thumbs? They’re tiny. Jamie Oliver’s thumbs may be the size of my forearm. I don’t know. I might start using other arbitrary measurements based on physiology. A kneecap of butter. A chin of thyme. An ear of corn. You get the idea.

Anyway, try it. You might like it.

Serves 4. (With rice, naan, chapattis)

1 large aubergine
250-400g mushrooms (I use a mix of chestnut and field)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced (de-seeded according to taste)
1tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp hot curry powder
500g passata
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
Olive oil
Freshly ground salt and black pepper
Natural yoghurt


Heat the oven to 190c/375f
Clean and half or quarter the mushrooms (leave them quite large as they shrink on cooking)
Slice the aubergine into 1″ thick discs, then quarter.
Place mushrooms and aubergine in oven-proof dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss gently then cover with lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes or so. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Coarsely chop onion, garlic, ginger and chillies. Warm a pan on the hob with a glug of olive oil then soften the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and chillies. Keep stirring to prevent burning. After a few minutes when this mix is becoming aromatic, add the garam masala and curry powder, stirring well so everything is coated. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the passata. Simmer for a few minutes until you’re confident everything is cooked through, then add the lemon juice. Check and adjust seasoning then remove from heat.
Using a stick blender, whizz the sauce until fairly smooth then taste. If it’s too spicy, stir in a tbsp of natural yoghurt. Taste again. Add another tbsp of yoghurt (and another if you must – no more than three in total, otherwise it’ll taste like a Muller Korma Corner).
Remove the mushroom and aubergine mix from the oven and check the aubergine is cooked through. Drain the juices and add the sauce, mixing gently but thoroughly. Cover the dish and turn the oven down to 160c/320f and heat through for a few minutes. Remove from the oven, stir in some fresh chopped coriander, garnish with more coriander leaves and serve with naan, chapattis or basmati rice.