2 tbsp sunflower oil , plus extra to serve
1 tbsp brown or black mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves , plus extra to serve
2 dried chillies chopped
4 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
400ml can coconut milk
6 tomatoes quartered
400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
Halve the aubergines, then cut each half into wedges. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large pan, preferably non-stick, and brown half the aubergines for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown and crisp all over. Scoop onto a plate, repeat with more oil and the remaining aubergines, then set everything aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan with the mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry for 30 secs until fragrant. Stir in the onions and continue cooking until they are softened and beginning to brown. Add the dried chillies and spices with a spoonful of the thick coconut milk from the top of the can, then fry for 1 min more. Add the remaining coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato paste and half a can of water. Simmer for 25-30 mins until thick and saucy.
Stir in the chickpeas and aubergines. Continue simmering for 5 mins or so, until everything is hot and the aubergines are tender. Serve with rice or warm naan bread, scattered with a few extra curry leaves sizzled in a splash of oil, if you like.