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Dinner with Rukmini

Browse all of the recipes in Rukmini Iyer’s cookbooks by ingredient.

All-in-One Aubergine, Tomato and Nigella Seed Curry

In this aromatic aubergine curry, Rukmini Iyer takes inspiration from a classic Madhur Jaffrey recipe and adapts it to be as quick and easy as possible.

From the book

Rukmini Iyer


This is my version of a spectacular Madhur Jaffrey dish that my mother makes: ‘aubergine in a pickling spice’. The original calls for the aubergines to be deep-fried before making the spiced tomato sauce – my mother has long since roasted off the aubergine pieces in the oven, but in this version I go one step further, cooking down cherry tomatoes under the aubergine. I was delighted to find that this makes for an extremely low-hassle, but no less beautifully balanced dish.

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300g vine cherry tomatoes, halved
2 inches ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, grated
6 baby aubergines, halved (or 2 large aubergines, thickly sliced)
2 tsp nigella or black onion seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp mild chilli powder
2 tsp sea salt flakes
3 tbsp neutral or olive oil


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas 6.

Tip the cherry tomatoes, ginger, garlic, spices, salt and oil into a roasting tin or oven dish just large enough to hold the tomatoes in one layer, then add the aubergine pieces.

Mix everything really well, then arrange the aubergine pieces on top of the tomatoes. If you like, use a sharp knife to score a cross-hatch pattern into the cut side of the aubergine pieces and then gently rub in some more of the spice mixture.

Transfer the tin to the oven and roast for 40–45 minutes until the aubergine is cooked through. Serve hot.

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From the book: India Express: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Every Day

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