Meera Sodha's Aubergine Katsu Curry with Pickled Radishes

Meera Sodha's vegan version of a katsu curry stars breaded aubergine. Served with easy pickled radishes, this is a showstopping dinner recipe.

From the book

EAST by
EAST
120 vegan and vegetarian recipes from Meera Sodha
Easy meat-free dishes from across the East
Featuring favourites from Meera's Guardian column and more

Introduction

Katsu curry is an unlikely-looking thief of the heart, but this mysterious brown concoction is one of Japan’s favourite dishes. In my take on it, the curry sauce is made using plenty of naturally sweet vegetables plus a couple of store-cupboard essentials. These modest ingredients come together to form a seductive and silky sauce much greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a message to us all never to judge a dish by its colour.

note / The sauce freezes well, so feel free to double up when making. You’ll need a blender for this recipe.

Serves 4 as a main

Ingredients

For the radishes:
100g radishes, trimmed and finely sliced
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
For the curry:
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots (200g), peeled and finely diced
1 sweet potato (200g), peeled and finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1.5cm ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp curry powder
10 tbsp plain flour
500ml vegan vegetable stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
salt
2 aubergines (600g), cut lengthways into 0.5cm-thick slices
200g panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put the radishes into a heatproof bowl, cover with 100ml of just-boiled water, and add the salt, mirin and vinegar. Stir and leave to cool.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a lidded frying pan, then fry the onion, carrots and sweet potato for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, fry for 2 minutes more, cover and leave to steam through for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, mix, then stir in 2 tablespoons of flour until the vegetables are coated. Add the stock little by little, then bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce, ketchup and ½ teaspoon of salt, then take off the heat. Blend smooth, then return the sauce to the pan.

Line an oven tray with baking paper. Put the aubergines on a plate. Put 8 tablespoons of flour on a second, lipped plate, then slowly mix the flour with 180ml of water and ½ teaspoon of salt to make a thin paste. Put the panko on a third plate. Cover both sides of each aubergine slice in the flour paste, shaking off any excess, then press into the panko to coat. Lay the coated slices on the prepared tray and drizzle both sides with oil. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, turn the heat up to 220°C fan/240°C/475°F/gas 9 and cook for 10 minutes more, until crisp, then take out of the oven.

Just before serving, gently reheat the curry sauce for 5 minutes, adding more water and salt if need be. Put 3 or 4 aubergine slices on each plate, alongside the sauce, then serve with somedrained pickled radish, rice, salad leaves and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds if you like.

See more recipes »

More Recipes by Meera Sodha

See more recipes »

More Aubergine Recipes

See more recipes »

More Recipes from EAST