Yotam Ottolenghi is originally from Jerusalem and has been hailed as the man responsible for bringing Middle Eastern cooking into our homes and crowding our kitchens with a bounty of unusual spices, herbs and exotic flavours. He is a restaurateur, cook, broadcaster, a regular food columnist for The Guardian and writer of cookbooks, famed as much for their recipes as for the beautiful photography. It is only fitting that the recipe that Yotam has donated to Accumul8 is based on the aubergine, as he is very keen on this versatile purple vegetable and has dedicated whole chapters to it in his books. Many thanks to Yotam for donating his Aubergine Pahi recipe to Accumul8. You can follow Yotam on Twitter here

Aubergine Pahi

Yotam says “This Sri Lankan kind-of-chutney is the bees’ knees. It’s one of the recipes in my latest book, Plenty More, and makes a wonderful accompaniment to rice, roast veg or plainly cooked chicken. It can be served warm, but if anything it’s even better the next day at room temperature. It will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks in a sealed jar. Serves four”

Ingredients:

about 400ml grapeseed or sunflower oil

2 large aubergines (750g), halved lengthways, each half cut into 2.5 x 5 cm wedges

1 tsp ground turmeric

3 medium onions (450g), peeled and each cut into 8 wedges

4 Romano (or Ramiro) peppers (500g), halved lengthways, deseeded and cut

widthways into 2cm-wide strips

1 mild red chilli, deseeded and quartered

10g fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1½ tsp curry powder

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp mustard seeds

10cm pandan leaf, roughly chopped (optional)

3cm piece of lemongrass, roughly chopped

about 12 fresh curry leaves

60ml cider vinegar

2½ tsp caster sugar

Salt

Method

Pour the oil into a very large frying pan or casserole and place on a medium–high heat. Meanwhile, toss the aubergine with the turmeric in a bowl. Add to the oil and fry in batches for about 8 minutes, turning once, until light golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a colander layered with kitchen paper, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and leave to drain.

Add the onions to the oil and fry them for about 8 minutes, turning once, until golden brown, then add them to the aubergines, along with another ¼ teaspoon of salt. Next, fry the peppers and chilli for 5 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, and add to the rest, along with ¼ teaspoon of salt. You should now have about 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add or remove some if you need.

Place the ginger, garlic, spices, pandan leaf (if using), lemongrass and curry leaves in the small bowl of a food processor or spice grinder and blitz to form a paste. Fry this paste in the pan with the oil, on a medium heat, for 2–3 minutes, until it begins to colour. Return all of the vegetables to the pan, along with the vinegar, 60ml of boiling water and sugar. Stir gently and simmer for 8 minutes, until most of the liquid has boiled away, before serving warm or at room temperature.

Reproduced by kind permission of Yotam Ottolenghi