Aubergine, Spinach and Chickpea Subji

Another of my weekend batch cooks – this keeps well in the fridge and dare I say, even improves. You can do this several ways – you can cook everything together in one pot but I like to griddle the aubergine and then add it towards the end but it’s delicious when deep fried! You could vary this recipe in a number of different ways: aubergine, potato and chickpeas; aubergine, chickpeas, potato and paneer; aubergine, potato and paneer – add spinach or leave it out, as you prefer. It’s a nice one pot dish to make for an occasion, deep frying the aubergine & paneer and adding chili & tomato; a kick of heat really complements the soft, oily aubergine in a tomato sauce. You could also use or draw on this recipe which uses a lovely spice blend.


1 aubergine

1 tin of chickpeas

1 bag of fresh spinach or 400g of frozen spinach, defrosted

1 tin chopped tomatoes

a thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon asafoetida

a pinch of chili

a glug of lemon juice

a scant teaspoon of salt

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil and once hot, add the cumin seeds. Next add the ginger followed by the rest of the powdered spices and fry over a low heat until fragrant.
  2. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, a chopped aubergine and the spinach, if using fresh spinach. Once the aubergine starts to soften, add the chickpeas (and the frozen spinach, if using). Add the salt and lemon and leave until it has reduced and the aubergine is nice and soft.
  3. If you’re going to fry or griddle the aubergine, do this while the tomato sauce and chickpeas simmer. Serve with lemon rice and chapatis.