Aubergine katsu curry

Soft aubergines coated in golden, crispy breadcrumbs covered in a rich, salty homemade curry sauce. Served with brown rice, this vegan katsu curry is not only filling and healthy, it’s really tasty too. 

‘Katsu’ is a Japanese method of frying meat or vegetables in breadcrumbs. You’ll find meaty and veggie versions of this curry in eateries like Wasabi and Wagamama and I’ve always been intrigued as to what’s in the sauce.

Some recipes use coconut milk, which adds a whole lot of calories to the mix, but the version I made uses a base of vegetable stock; which is much more forgiving on the waistline.

IMG_2950

This was my first attempt at katsu curry and I’m not going to lie; it was a bit fiddly. But definitely worth it for the results! As the coating and frying of the aubergines takes quite a while, I would recommend trying this recipe on the weekend or when you have more time.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 1-2 medium aubergines
  • 80g natural breadcrumbs
  • 1 mug brown rice

For the sauce

  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp curry powder (I used tikka curry powder, which worked surprisingly well)
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 300ml vegetable stock

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves 2-3

Method

1. Make the sauce. Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Fry the onion and garlic for 5-7 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.

2. Meanwhile, slice the aubergines into thin discs.

3. Lower the heat and add the cornflour and curry powder, stirring well. Add the stock gradually, stirring as you do. Add the soy sauce and honey and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add the garam masala.

4. Grab a medium-sized bowl and pour the plain flour in along with a tablespoon or two of water to form a runny paste. Dip each of the aubergine slices in the paste until covered on both sides.

5. Pour the breadcrumbs out onto a large plate. Place the aubergine slices on top of the breadcrumbs, one by one, making sure the paste picks up a thin layer of breadcrumbs. And then turn them over and do the same on the other side of each of the slices.

6. Put the oven on to gas mark 4.

7. At this point, put the brown rice on to cook. Brown rice takes considerably longer than standard basmati rice, so allow a good 25-30 minutes for it to cook through.

8. Next, put a large non-stock frying pan on a medium heat. Add some of the olive oil to the pan and fry the aubergine slices for five minutes or so on both sides, or until they turn golden brown and start to soften in the centre.

Aubergine in breadcrumbs

9. Place in the oven on a large baking tray for 15 minutes.

10. Return to your sauce. It should have thickened a bit after simmering. Pour it into a measuring jug or alternative container with high sides. If it’s a bit on the thin side, add the cornflour and use a hand blender to smooth it out.

11. Drain the rice and serve on one side of the plate. Add the aubergine slices to the plate and pour over a generous helping of curry sauce.

This recipe was inspired by Hef’s Kitchen and BBC Good Food.

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