Alexandra Dudley’s Thai green aubergine and broccoli curry

Our recipe columnist shares a healthy dish that’s full of flavour

January can be a dreary month for eating. The mince pies are finished and it seems no longer appropriate to yo-yo one’s hand in and out of the Quality Street tin. For those of us choosing to make it a dry month, it can be even more painful. The prospect of steamed greens and bland fish (sans a glass of Chardonnay) is indeed a bleak one – but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, healthy eating needn’t be hard.

I like to place a big emphasis on colour during January – not only does it make me feel a lot cheerier, but after what feels like a month of beige food, a few more veggies are most welcome. This is a foolproof curry recipe that has served me both during last-minute dinner parties and solo nights in with Netflix. It makes enough paste for two curries and I like to freeze half of it to keep on hand for later. You could even double the paste recipe and freeze a few more portions if you wish. 

Thai green aubergine and broccoli curry

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the paste:

1 banana shallot, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large green chillis, de-seeded and roughly chopped
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, crushed
A small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems
3 tbsp olive oil

2 small aubergines (or one larger one)
Olive oil
1 can coconut milk
150g green beans, chopped into inch-size pieces
½ a head of broccoli, chopped into even sized florets and pieces
120g bamboo shoots
1-2 red chillis, de-seeded and finely chopped (depending on how hot you like it)

To garnish:

A handful of toasted cashews
Coriander leaves
Wedges of lime
Chopped red chilli

Method

Place all of the paste ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well broken down.

Halve your aubergines lengthways and cut them into roughly one-centimetre semi-circles. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add three tablespoons of olive oil and your aubergine, and pan-fry for about eight minutes until it has charred. Don’t worry if it isn’t entirely cooked through. Set aside.

In a large, deep frying pan or saucepan heat a further three tablespoons of oil and add half of your curry paste (freeze the rest). Cook for about three minutes until it begins to smell fragrant.

Add your coconut milk and then a can’s worth of water. Bring to the boil before adding your beans, broccoli, bamboo shoots, aubergine and chopped chilli. Give it a stir and reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cook rice according to instructions.

To serve, divide rice between serving bowls before ladling the curry on top. Finish with a handful of toasted cashews, coriander leaves, fresh chopped chillis (if you wish) and a wedge of lime.

Any leftovers can be kept for up to two days and reheated.

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