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One of Simon’s childhood favourites à la his mum, Therese — and it’s a classic for a reason! Quick and easy to prepare, but loaded with warmth and flavour from the aromatic seeds, this hearty and wholesome dish deserves a spot on your weeknight menu.

You will need

Serves 4

  • 4 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 2.5 centimeter chunks
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole nigella seeds
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins diced tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

To serve

  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, to garnish
  • 1 lime, to serve
  • Rice or quinoa, to serve (optional)

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10 mins to prep

15 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    In a hot pan or wok on high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil followed by the eggplant. Sauté the eggplant until golden brown and set aside in a bowl lined with paper towel to allow the oil to drain off. (As there is a lot of eggplant to sauté, you may need to fry it in multiple batches — you don’t want to overcrowd the pan or you’ll make it ‘sweat’ rather than sauté.)

  2. Step 2

    Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in all the seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop (a matter of seconds), add in the garlic and chilli and stir to combine.

  3. Step 3

    Stir until the garlic is golden (careful not to burn it – just a moment), then add tomatoes, chickpeas, cooked eggplant, sugar and salt to season. Stir and bring to a simmer for around 20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced.

  4. Step 4

    Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and garnish with fresh coriander.

Recipe: Therese Toohey

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