Spicy Peanut Aubergine Curry

For our first public event at Wild by Tart, our soon-to-open space in Belgravia, buzzing with excitement, we debated long over ideas of what the food offering would be. This was to be the first time our friends and family would see our new space - the unveiling! And of course, we wanted to make sure the food would a perfect reflection of the Tart heart and soul. For the past year we have been working hard on this space- getting a business plan together, going out to potential investors, finding a team to help us to turn our vision into reality, designing the interior, the kitchen layout, the loos, the start of construction, endless problem solving, financial planning, branding, recipe tasting and so on. We have really devoted ourselves to this project. So for this event, which really felt like the grand opening, we wanted everything to be a perfect. We wanted to keep the food simple, to serve and to eat, as this was to be a stand-up Christmas market. We kept it casual, comforting and delicious. We went for three interactive bowl food stations, with our signature style of eclectic bowls full of extra toppings to add on, and our shared love - ultimate cheese toasties - sizzling on the grill. The bowls served were a slow cooked beef stew with pecans and prunes (as described in our cookbook), a spiced squid stew with a saffron aioli and a spicy red peanut curry with aubergine and rice. The latter we decided to feature in our column, after a few lovely faces asked for the recipe. Healthy curries are the ultimate way to give yourself a dose of comfort any night of the week, something we make most weeks. Although a dish known as curry is now so varied and widespread across the globe that its definition remains very open to include numerous cuisines and cooking styles. It is understood to mean either vegetables, meat or fish cooked with a spiced sauce, becoming almost an umbrella term. A term for the food style we love. They all make clever use of the combination of spices and how they come together. This recipe is wonderfully rich and filling, with a smoky spice and satisfying crunch of peanut, that is heightened and harmonised with a zingy yoghurt. We have got into the habit of making big batches of spice mixture, and freezing into ice cube trays for individual portions. Ideal for these cold dark months after work, to ignite your souls with exotic, ready to go spices.


    Feeds 4


    2 red peppers (from a jar)

    5 garlic cloves

    thumb ginger

    2 lemon grass (bottom chopped and tough outer layer removed)

    3 shallots

    4 lime leaves

    medium bunch coriander stalks

    5 red chillies- deseded

    2 tsp smoked paprika

    1 tsp ground cumin

    2 tsp ground coriander



    1 tin coconut milk

    250ml stock

    1 tbsp tamarind

    2 big aubergine- cut into large chunks (2 inches)

    2 tsp cumin seeds

    1 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter

    2 tbsp fish sauce


    1 lime- juice



    4tbsp yoghurt

    2 limes zested and juice.

    1 tbsp of finely chopped shallot.

    1 tsp ground cumin


1.     Blitz your curry paste to a smooth paste, add a little water if needs be

2.     Heat a large frying pan and in batches fry your aubergine over a high heat in a little groundnut oil until golden crisped all over, adding cumin seeds at the last few minutes to crisped up with it

3.     Now in a pot heat some coconut butter over a medium heat and add your paste, keep trying, making sure it doesn’t catch (lower the heat if needs be). Keep cooking until fragrant. If starting to dry or catch add a little water.

4.     Now add the stock, coconut milk and tamarind- simmer for 5 minutes until infused. Then add the aubergine and a good squirt of honey and slowly simmer for a further 15 minutes, then add the fish sauce, peanut butter and mix through and infuse for a few more minutes.

5.     Finish with a good squeeze of lime, now taste to see for adjustments- maybe more spice, salt or tang needed.

6.     Mix yoghurt mixture and season.

7.     Serve with steamed rice and garnish with toasted chopped peanuts, freshly chopped coriander and chilli and a dollop of yoghurt mixture.