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FRIDAY NIGHT DINNERS. Tandoori spiced aubergine w/ tamarind chutney, flatbread w/ garlic butter & black dahl


Using the robust flavour of aubergine to carry our tandoori spices, served with beautiful soft flat breads and a wonderfully rich black dahl.

Much of this recipe can be adapted for a plant-based or vegan diet, please do contact us if you have any questions.

Order of cooking. To make the whole dinner, you'll need to start in advance with the black dahl. After this make your chutney, marinade your aubergine, make the flatbreads then finish by cooking the aubergine and bringing it all together.

Serves 2 people for dinner.


For the Tandoori Aubergine

2 medium sized aubergines, cut in half lengthways with the cut in a cross hatch pattern.

For the marinade:
100g plain yoghurt (or buttermilk or soya yoghurt)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon paprika - ideally sweet rather than hot
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
OPTIONAL. 1 teaspoon beetroot powder to achieve the traditional deep red colour

For the flatbreads

Super easy flatbreads that are ready in under 1 hour from start to finish and require very basic ingredients and no yeast!
This recipe makes 6 good size flatbreads

Ingredients for flatbreads : 
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
45ml vegetable oil
120ml warm water

Ingredients for the garlic butter:
1 garlic clove, crushed
30g butter (or vegan butter)
A pinch of sea sat

For the chutney

We are making our own secret recipe, sorry folks, but here's a great one to try, or simply buy your favourite jar of Indian chutney, such as mango chutney or lime pickle. SERIOUS EATS RECIPE.

For the Black Dahl

250g black lentils – they can come under many names, look out for black ‘urid’ beans or lentils or black gram beans.
If you can’t find black lentils yellow split lentils will be fine.
100g butter or ghee (this can be changed to vegan butter if required)
2 large onions, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
A 1 inch sized piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve
400g passata or chopped tomatoes
400ml light chicken stock or vegetable/vegan stock
1 fat red chilli, kept whole
50ml double cream ((this can be changed to coconut cream if making a vegan dahl)


For the Tandoori Aubergine:

  1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Paint on to the flesh side of the aubergine and marinate in the fridge for an hour.
  2. Put your oven on its highest setting, ideally 240c. and allow it to pre-heat for 20 – 30 minutes.
  3. Place the aubergines in a roasting dish, flesh side up.
  4. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, ensuring that the aubergine is cooked through and a little blackened. Brush with a little more marinade if it starts to look dry ay all.

For the flat breads:

  1. Start by mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough either in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or in a bowl by hand. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil and warm water into your mixing bowl and knead until you get a lovely elastic dough ball. It will be quite sticky, I find that it helps to wet your hands. This might take 5-10 min. If the dough ball is too dry, add a little bit of water and knead. If it’s too wet, add a little bit of flour and knead. Do not add too much flour as that can really dry the dough and you’ll end up with flatbreads that are tough and that crack rather than folding around your chicken.
  2. Using a dough scraper or sharp knife, divide the dough into six balls that are roughly equal in size. Flatten them slightly with your hand, put them in a tray and cover with a towel and leave them to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Make the garlic butter by slowly cooking the crushed garlic in the butter in a small pan. Don’t let the garlic to get any colour. Keep to one side until ready to use.
  4. Using a floured roller pin, roll the dough balls and flatten them into large oval disks.
  5. Heat a griddle pan on medium heat, and fry the flatbreads, with no oil, one by one. Use tongs to flip the flatbread from one side to another. Always expect that the first one won't look right, start judging the results from the second flatbread that you make as that's when the griddle (or a non-stick pan) is heated properly, and the flatbread will start rising. If you don't get hot air pockets, you might need to leave the dough a bit thicker and test. I usually roll the dough into very thin disks and it works fine. Make sure that you stay by the stove as you work with the flatbread as it can get burnt really easily.
  6. Once one side of the flatbread is charred, brush generously with the garlic butter and sprinkle sea salt

    They can be kept in an airtight container for 2 days or in the fridge for 3. Just reheat in a pan or oven before serving.

    For the Black Dahl:

    1. Soak the lentils/beans in cold water for 4 hrs (or overnight, if you have time and remember!).
    2. Melt the butter or ghee in a large pan, then add the onions and cook for 10 mins over a gentle heat until the onions are soft.
    3. Add the garlic and ginger for another few minutes – the onions should be starting to caramelise.
    4. Stir in the spices, coriander stalks and 100ml water, the passata and the whole red chilli. Drain the lentils/beans and add these too, then top up with the 400ml of light chicken or vegetable stock.
    5. Season well and leave on a very low heat, checking the water level, for 2 – 3 hours.
    6. Once cooked, the dhal should be very thick and the lentils/beans tender.
    7. I like to take out a third of the dahl, blend it in a food processor and put it back to create a creamier texture, but this isn’t essential.
    8. Stir in the cream, check the seasoning and put to one side until ready to eat. This recipe is actually best made in advance so the flavours have time to develop.


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