Peel 2 medium onions and roughly chop them. Halve and thickly slice 2 medium aubergines. Soften the onions and aubergines in 6 tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep pan. As the vegetables soften, add 2 peeled and thinly sliced cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger. Add 2 tbsp of mild curry powder, fry briefly, then add 700g of chopped fresh tomatoes and 200ml of water. Leave to simmer for 25 minutes, until the curry has thickened. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of garam masala. Finish with a little fresh coriander and offer yogurt at the table.
Be prepared for the aubergines to soak up a lot of oil. It is what makes the stew so silky. If the amount of oil worries you, then salt the sliced aubergines before cooking and leave for 30 minutes. They will absorb less oil that way. Rinse and dry before frying.
Chop and change the spices to suit your taste. Mix your own curry powder. Boil the sauce down a little to reduce the liquid then use the curry as a filling for samosas or a vegetarian pasty.
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'Chop and change the spices to suit your taste': Nigel Slater's aubergine curry recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer