keralan vegetable massala


As mentioned, we needed to make inroads into the veg glut. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Anjum Anand, and we replaced the chicken with some veg. It worked remarkably well, and would serve four greedy people, or six more restrained souls.

1 bag spinach
some groundnut oil (I never use as much as they say)
3 black cardamon pods
2 bay leaves
5cm piece of cinnamon stick
2 green chillies, pricked with the tip of a knife
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large aubergine, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
fresh grated ginger (lots is an appropriate amount)
fresh garlic (ditto)
1 can tomatoes
2 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp garam masala
4 tbsp natural yogurt
salt to taste

Make a purée of the ginger, garlic and tomatoes (blender or food processor required). Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based pan (I used a Le Creuset casserole), and add the cardamon, bay leaves and cinnamon, and fry for a few seconds, then add the onion and chillies and fry until the onions are brown.

Add the tomato/ginger/garlic purée, and the aubergine and sweet potato, and cook for about 30 minutes.  Add some salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp).  While this is going on, clean the blender / food processor, and pureé the spinach (you might need to add a bit of water to make it mulch).

Add the yogurt to the pot and keep stirring to reduce the sauce for about 15 minutes, then add the spinach and carry on with this for another 10 minutes or so.

Eat with basmati rice or flat bread.