Aubergine and green bean curry

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Here comes comfort food. Soft and smokey aubergines wrapped in a velvety and incredibly creamy tomato-coconut sauce, topped off with a hit of spice and a crunch of toasted almonds. Soothing and uplifting, this curry is ideal for cold and miserable January days.

Some people are religious about making their own curry paste, and I’m sure it’s well worth the effort. But on busy weekdays just the thought of having to collect all the ingredients, most of which would then be left to sit in the cupboard for ages, puts me off making a curry altogether. So I resort to ready-made paste from Tesco’s which, to my mind, does the job quite damn well.

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Serves 2:
half an aubergine
100 g green beans
a handful of fresh spinach
1 teaspoon green curry paste
300 ml tomato passata or from a tin of chopped tomatoes
200 ml coconut milk
olive oil
a handful of almonds
basmati rice
naan bread (optional)

1. Toast the almonds in a dry pan. Meanwhile, slice the aubergine into thin wedges. Halve the beans so that they are only about an inch in length.

2. When the almonds are browned and giving off a lovely fragrant scent, remove them from the pan and chop them roughly.

3. In the hot pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the aubergine wedges until they are golden on both sides. Transfer to kitchen towel.

4. If there is no leftover oil in the pan, add a tablespoon and fry the curry paste in the oil for a couple of minutes. Make sure to mix the oil and curry paste thoroughly. Add the aubergines and stir to coat them in the paste.

5. Add tomato passata, coconut milk and the green breans. Start cooking the rice. Leave the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the green beans are tender.

6. When the rice is done, stir the spinach into the sauce. Serve the curry with rice, toasted almonds and perhaps some naan bread.

Adapted from River Cottage Veg Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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