Buttery homemade roti accompanies this fragrant vegetable curry, for a comforting and meat-free meal.
- 1 kg eggplant (about 2 large), cut into 2 cm pieces
- 25 g table salt
- 25 g turmeric powder
- vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
- 50 g ghee
- 250 g finely chopped onion
- 250 g finely chopped garlic
- 50 g finely chopped ginger
- 1 pandan leaf, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 100 g tamarind puree
- 200 ml boiling water
- 250 g drained canned chickpeas, rinsed
- 400 ml canned or fresh coconut milk
- 25 g ground black pepper
- 25 g ground cardamom
- cooked basmati rice and coriander, to serve
- 100 g salt
- 100 g sugar
- 2 kg plain flour
- 250 g soft butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 litre vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 1 hour
- For the roti, place 500 ml (2 cups) water in a large bowl and stir in the salt and sugar. Add the flour, butter and egg and stir until a smooth dough forms. Shape into a smooth ball, then cover in plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into 150 g pieces, shape into balls and place on a baking paper lined tray. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the eggplant in a large bowl, add the salt and turmeric and toss to combine well.
- Heat about 3 cm oil in a wide, heavy – based frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the eggplant, in batches if necessary and cook until golden and tender. Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Heat the ghee in a separate heavy – based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and pandan leaf and stir until soft and fragrant. Add the mustard seeds and cook until just starting to pop.
- Combine the tamarind puree with the boiling water until smooth. Add to the pan and stir until the mixture comes to the boil. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat well, then add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the eggplant and stir to combine well. Stir in the cardamom until well combined, then set aside.
- To cook the roti, heat a heavy – based frying pan over high heat. Working with one piece of dough at a time, stretch the dough as thinly as you can on a lightly oiled work surface, then rub all over with a little more oil. Fold each side into the centre, then fold each corner in to form an envelope. Place in the hot pan and cook until puffed and lightly blistered on both sides. Transfer to a plate and cover with a cloth to keep them warm while you cook the remainder.
- Serve the eggplant curry scattered with chopped coriander with the roti on the side.
• The roti makes more than you will need for this recipe but once rolled into rounds, the roti will keep frozen for up to 3 months. Stack in between sheets of baking paper and cook from frozen.
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Photography by Adam Liaw.