Source: Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for tamarind aubergines with Thai basil
Tamarind Aubergines with Thai Basil
Servings 2 people
- 2 aubergines large, 600g total
- rapeseed oil
- 2 red onions peeled and finely sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste
- 0.5 tbsp soy sauce light
- 15 g Thai basil leaves
Cut off and discard the aubergine stalks, cut the bulbs in half lengthways, then cut each half into long wedges about 4-5cm at their widest part.
Put four tablespoons of oil in a frying pan on a medium to high heat and have a plate ready. When the oil is hot, lay in some of the aubergine wedges on one of their cut sides and in a single layer, and leave to cook for three minutes. Turn the aubergine wedges on to their other cut side, cook for another three minutes, then transfer to the plate. Add an extra tablespoon or two of oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining aubergine wedges.
In the same pan, turn down the heat to medium, add three more tablespoons of oil and, when hot, add the sliced onion and a teaspoon of salt. Stirring infrequently, sweat down the onions for about 12 minutes, until browning nicely; if they at any stage threaten to stick and burn, add a little water (up to a couple of tablespoons). Stir in the garlic and cook for three minutes more, or until the onions are caramelised and soft.
Add the chilli flakes, sugar, tamarind paste, soy sauce and 175ml water to the pan, then stir in the aubergine wedges. Turn down the heat to medium-low, simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the aubergines and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the aubergines are tender.
Lift out the aubergine wedges one by one on to a platter, layering them up neatly. Add the Thai basil leaves to the tamarind and onion sauce left in the pan, stir until it wilts into the mixture, then pour all over the aubergines. Serve with jasmine rice.