The spicy and flavourful jalfrezi has now overtaken tikka masala as Britain’s favourite curry! This stock can be prepared in advance and frozen or kept in the fridge in an airtight container, so make a double batch to save time. Be sure to taste the curry as you go to get the perfect balance, as spices can vary in strength.
1 large aubergine
4 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
1 red pepper
a small bunch of fresh coriander
5 green bird’s-eye chillies
12 cherry tomatoes
3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
¼–2 tsp hot chilli powder
8 tbsp tomato purée
500g cooked basmati rice, or use 2 x 250g bags microwavable basmati rice, to serve
For The Stock
5cm piece fresh ginger
5 garlic cloves
500ml + 1 tbsp water
½ fresh red chilli
3 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground fenugreek
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp paprika
Preheat grill to 200°C.
First cook the aubergine. Trim the aubergine and cut it into 2cm chunks. Spread over the baking tray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons oil and a good pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove when golden brown all over but not burnt
Meanwhile, make the stock. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and grate. Peel and grate the garlic. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon water to make a paste.
Finely chop the red chilli and tomatoes. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of the ginger and garlic paste. Add all the remaining spices and half the water and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes, until browned and reduced completely. Pour in the rest of the water, stir and transfer to the liquidiser. Blend to a smooth liquid. Clean out the pan.
Back to the curry. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Cut the pepper in half and cut out the stem and seeds, then thinly slice. Pick the leaves from the coriander. Finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Trim and thinly slice two of the chillies. Quarter the tomatoes.
Pour the remaining oil into the clean saucepan. Place over a high heat. Add the onion, pepper and sliced chillies and fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the chopped coriander stems and remaining ginger and garlic paste (from making the stock). Add the curry powder, garam masala, ¼ teaspoon hot chilli powder, tomato purée, grilled aubergines and stock. Taste and add more salt, garam masala and chilli powder if needed. Stir in the tomatoes. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened.
Heat the rice or cook it following the instructions on the packet.
Transfer to a serving dish. Cut the remaining chillies in half lengthways and use them to garnish the curry along with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve with the rice.
The is an extract from Bish Bash Bosh by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (HQ Non Fiction, $39.99)