Sunday, 1 August 2010

Baked Aubergine with coriander and chilli chutney

I'm sure I've mentioned this in a previous blog entry, but there was once a time, when I would avoid eating aubergines. I did not mind eating the deep purple outer skin, but its sluggish texture, especially when undercooked grossly put me off. My mother, a fabulous cook attempted to change my mind and in some cases she did win me over. Disguising the aubergines in some cases, where she would cook it so thoroughly that it would just melt in your mouth, or deep fry them, as pakora’s (bhajis).

Now much older and more appreciative of fruit and vegetables, I am happy to cook with the aubergine myself and welcome it in my little kitchen, especially when in season.
This coriander and chilli chutney is a familiar recipe for me. My mother would grow huge amounts of coriander in the garden and other than garnishing dishes, she'd often make this chutney in her granite pestle and mortar, which we'd then eat as a dip with potato chips or roti (chapatti). In this recipe the chutney is slathered in between aubergine layers. Its rather refreshing.
Baked Aubergine with coriander and chilli chutney
For 2
1 large aubergine or 2 medium aubergines
Olive oil
For the chutney
50g fresh coriander
1 small red onion, finely sliced, and minced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 green or red chillies
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
For the chutney
Make the coriander and chilli chutney: Put the coriander with stalks, (remove any tough ones though), minced onion, garlic and chilli into a food processor and blitz until smooth; or in a pestle and mortar and crush until smoothish. Set aside for the flavours to infuse (at least 30 minutes).
Leave the stalks attached to the aubergines. If using one large aubergine, cut in half . Then cut each length ways into 3 or 5 slices, but not right though the stalk as you want the slices to be held together. You want it to look a bit like a fan. See below. Spread the coriander and chilli between the slices and press the aubergines back tougher again. Place in a baking dish and brush gently with oil. Cover with kitchen foil and bake in over for 45 minutes, then remove foil and bake for a further 15 minutes until tender. Serve. Adapted from Leith’s Vegetarian Bible


  1. Mmm I love eggplant..I always have but I think you're right, the older you get the more veggies and fruit you like. My boyfriend, on the other hand, hates eggplant but I am slowly trying to change that. I might have to make this for him, it looks wonderful. I especially like the chilli chutney!

  2. Yum! another recipe to bookmark for summer.

  3. This sounds wonderful...I love the way you sliced the aubergine: very pretty.

  4. OMG~! Every time I come to your Blog I'm overwhelmed with good food and wonderful photos. This recipe is a keeper. Easy, delicious and beautiful.

  5. love the idea of slicing it with the stalk still attached! it looks so beautiful all spread out like that after it's cooked.

  6. Hi, The recipe looks great so will be giving it a try. We have friends staying for a week in a couple of days time so I will be referring to your blog for cooking inspiration!

  7. Wonderful!
    And the mention of the granite mortar and pestle makes me so nostalgic! They are the best & I miss having one. I've always attempted to lug one back with me but they're just far too heavy to carry. Even the small ones :(

  8. beautiful! I love the way you fan out the eggplant; I've never seen that before.

  9. I personally loooooove eggplant! But I can see how some wuldnt' like the texture. The dish looks wonderful!

  10. Delicious recipe! and romantic photos! I wish I could squeeze this area into my upcoming travel schedule!

  11. That looks prefect for this grey summer we seem to be having lately!

  12. I love eggplant and am always looking for new recipes, your chutney looks so spicy and good, beautiful color too! I think the chutney used as a dip for potato chips could be dangerous, at least for me;-)

  13. Beautiful & delicious... love that coriander & chili chutney! My hubby's not a big fan of aubergine... but maybe he'll be won over with this recipe?! :o)

  14. Mmm, delicious as usual. Thank you for your lovely and concerned comments... we are all fine, I just got so wrapped up in sorting things etc that I forgot to come back! Hope you're having a lovely summer too x

  15. Do you know, and this seems ridiculous to me now, but I couldn't bear the thought of aubergines until about two years when Mr OC bought one home and I felt pressured into doing something with it. After that I went a bit crazy on the aubergine front, buying two a week throughout the summer. Needless to say I am a convert and we now have some growing on every available window ledge in the house!

  16. Oh this looks great! I love the number of things eggplant can be used for! It is such a great base for dishes! I will have to try this one for sure!

  17. Like you I used to avoid Aubergine but since having cypriot aubergine salad its really changed my mind - Also we cooked your chickpea and Kale pies - theyre lovely - thanks!

  18. that is a gorgeous plate of food. i love the way you sliced and fanned the eggplant. beautiful photos.

  19. E doesn't like eggplant so we don't have it a lot but it is heavenly when cooked well - I love the sound of pakoras and it looks gorgeous as a fan with your chutney

  20. Thanks Jacklyn.
    Its so funny, as we get older we begin to appreciate some veggies and fruit more.

    I hope you find aubergine recipes that will delight your boyfriend!

    Thanks Funkbunny.

    Thanks Rose.
    Yes, first time slicing the aubergine this way for me, and it was rather effective.

    Thank you so much farmlady.
    I totally agree the recipe is easy, delicious and rather pretty on the plate.

    Thank you so much Ali - YumVeggieBurger.
    Slicing the aubergine this way is certainly effective and pleasing to the eye.

  21. Thank you Mandy.
    You made me smile.

    Thank you GrapefruiT.
    I actually got the granite mortar and pestle from a South Asian shop in South Wales with my mother, it was imported. So if you'd like one, check out a South Asian store nearby, they may just have one for you to take home and make your own!

    Thank you Dianne.
    The fanned out eggplant is rather effective.

    You made me giggle.
    I'm delighted to learn that you loooooove eggplant! I still just 'like it', but love - not yet!

    Thank you so, so much for your lovely comment natural selection.

  22. Thank you Emmalene.
    Ihope the sun comes out for your soon!

    Thank you Patty.
    The chutney is really spicy and GOOD!

    Thank you Tracy.
    I hope this recipe will make him look at the aubergine with more inviting eyes :o)

    Oh Clare,
    It is so so good to hear from you.
    Good to read that your getting 'wrapped up in other things' Hope its all good stuff!

    I totally understand, it is a veg hard to win you over, especially if you've had a bad experience with it. But i am pleased to learn that Mr OC used tactics that got you to experiment with it and then eventually won you over.

    I've tried growing aubegines once, not successfully I must add. I do hope yours do well!

  23. Thank you so, So much Lizzie for your lovely comment. You are so right, aubergine is rather versatile, something I learned a little late, but bette than never.

    Funny you mention being converted since having cypriot aubergine salad. One of my pleasant eating experiences with aubergine was in Turkey and it was an aubergine salad. I wonder if they are similar!.

    I am so pleased that you made the 'chickpea and Kale pies' and enjoyed them. Thank you so much for letting me know. Did you add tomatoes as suggested?!

    Thank you so, So much Emily.
    For your lovely, lovely comment.

    Thank Johanna GGG.
    Yes, the aubergine has not won everyone over. Maybe the aubergine pakoras will.

    Please do try the aubergine pakoras, just make pakoras as you normally would, and then add a little spinach, cubed or sliced potatoes and thinly sliced aubergine. Delicious.

  24. That chutney looks incredible - I can just taste it reading the description! This is gourmet comfort food!!

  25. Thank you Collegian.
    It sure is packed with flavour.


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