12-15 baby aubergines

For the peanut stuffing:

110g redskin peanuts (I don’t bother removing the skins)
2 tbsp gram flour, toasted in a non-stick pan until aromatic
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ginger, grated
½ tsp red chilli powder
Handful fresh coriander, chopped finely
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the tomato sauce:

1 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
5-6 curry leaves
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar



1. Combine all of the ingredients for the stuffing except for the oil in a blender. Pulse 5-10 times until roughly ground. Place in a glass bowl.

2. Heat three tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan until hot and shimmering. Slowly and carefully pour the oil onto the peanut mix and combine. Set aside to cool.

3. Trim the tops of the aubergines. I like to leave a little stalk for pretty presentation. Slit the aubergines crosswise from the bottom, almost all the way through – leave the stalk area uncut. Stuff each aubergine with the peanut masala – don’t be afraid to use clean hands to do this; just get right in there. You should have a little bit of the stuffing left over – keep it aside.

4. Place the aubergines in single rows in a microwave and oven-safe dish. Cover the dish with cling film (plastic wrap) and make a hole in the top. Microwave on full power for seven minutes. Remove the cling film and allow to cool.