Aubergine, mushroom and new potato curry with pilau rice and tamarind chutney

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Vegetarian mains

Aubergine, mushroom and new potato curry with pilau rice and tamarind chutney

Main Serves 2 1h
Tamarind is a sweet-sour flavour and makes a great chutney. This is a quick version; you might have a little more than you need, but any leftover will keep in a pot in the fridge for a good while, or you could freeze it in ice cube trays for portion control.

Cook's notes

Wiping your mushrooms with damp paper or a cloth rather than washing them, stops them from turning slimy. Peel your ginger with sharp-edged teaspoon to avoid wasting any; it makes life easier too.


  • 1 pack tamarind paste
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small onions
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or coconut
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 25g ginger
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 200g new potatoes
  • 1 aubergine
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 1 pack tikka spice paste
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150g brown basmati rice
  • pilau rice pot containing:
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp whole cloves
  • 50ml yoghurt
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 50 min
  • Step 1

    Put the tamarind paste, dark brown sugar and cumin seeds in a small pan. Add a quarter teaspoon of salt, a little pepper and 150ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is syrupy and starts to 'double bubble'.
  • Step 2

    Transfer to a bowl and leave to one side to cool and thicken. Peel and finely slice the onion(s). Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the sliced onion. Fry it on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, until soft and translucent, stirring now and then to stop it catching.
  • Step 3

    If it does start to catch, add a splash of water. Meanwhile, peel and crush, chop or finely grate 1 garlic clove. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Halve, deseed and finely chop the chilli. Wash and chop the potatoes into roughly 3cm chunks (there's no need to peel them).
  • Step 4

    Dice the aubergine to a similar size. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp piece of kitchen paper or clean cloth and cut into quarter's. Wash the coriander, chop the stalks away from the leaves and finely dice the stalks. Remove half the cooked onion to a plate or small bowl.
  • Step 5

    Add the chopped coriander stalks, garlic, ginger, chilli, potato, aubergine and mushrooms to the rest of the onion. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the tikka spice paste. Fry for 1 minute. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring up to a simmer.
  • Step 6

    Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Stir regularly and add a splash of water if it looks a little dry. Meanwhile, rinse the basmati rice in a sieve. Put the pilau spice pot in a saucepan, one with a lid. Gently heat for 30 seconds-1 minute, just until you start to smell the spices.
  • Step 7

    Add the reserved cooked onion, basmati rice, a good pinch of salt and 400ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and cook on a low boil for 15 minutes. Then take the pan off the heat, keep it covered and leave the rice to steam until the curry is cooked. Roughly chop the coriander leaves.
  • Step 8

    When the potatoes are tender, stir most of the coriander leaves into the curry and check the seasoning. Serve in bowls, topped with a dollop of yoghurt, some of the tamarind chutney, and sprinkled with the rest of the coriander.

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