Sweet Potato and Aubergine Subji & Raita

This is a Guardian reader recipe by Maya Glaser, who adapted it from her Punjabi mother-in-law’s version of this vegetable dish. Irene made it for supper last night.

Base:
1-2 medium-sized onions, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
fresh ginger, a thumb-sized piece, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 small green chilli peppers, finely chopped
salt & pepper
25g butter
a good swig of olive oil (say 2 tbsp)
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cardamon
½ tin chopped tomatoes
a good handful of coriander leaves roughly chopped

The vegetables:
1 large aubergine, cut into small cubes
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into slightly larger cubes (we used 1 sweet potato and some squash)
2 good handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped

Raita:
½ pot natural yoghurt
½ clove garlic, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 handful coriander, chopped
lemon juice – a good squeeze

In a large frying pan with a lid, fry the onions, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and chillies with a pinch of salt in a little bit of butter and the oil until soft. Stir in the garam masala, turmeric and cardamon, followed by the chopped tomatoes and half the chopped coriander. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and then add the aubergine. Put on the lid and simmer for 20 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes. If it gets too dry, add a little water (we found we needed more water, and we used more tomato too).
Leave the mixture to simmer for another 20-30 minutes then add the spinach. Simmer for a few minutes until the spinach wilts, then add the rest of the coriander and season.
While the Subji is cooking make the raita: mix the yoghurt, garlic, red onion and coriander in a bowl, add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.
Serve the Subji with basmati rice or toasted pitta bread and the raita on the side.

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