Saffron Soul: Masala grilled aubergine recipe

The contrasting flavours of sweet and spice give this aubergine dish a special edge.

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Serves 4


2 medium or large aubergine
*2 tablespoons coconut oil or rapeseed oil
*¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the masala mix

*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*2 teaspoons ground coriander
*½ teaspoon ground turmeric
*½ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt
*½ teaspoon red chilli powder
*4 tablespoons tahini
840g cashews, ground to a fine powder
*2 tablespoons jaggery (crumbled or melted), coconut sugar or honey
*handful of coriander leaves
*1 tablespoon sesame seeds
*juice of 1 lime
*1 teaspoon rapeseed oil
​8100ml water

For the dill yoghurt

*180g natural yoghurt
*1–2 tablespoons dill leaves, finely chopped
*½ teaspoon red chilli powder
*½ teaspoon Himalayan salt or sea salt

To garnish

*pomegranate seeds
*coriander leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

2. Mix together all the ingredients for the masala mix in a small mixing bowl. The masala mix should be a paste the consistency of honey that you can layer onto the aubergine.

3. Make the dill yoghurt by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.

4. Slice each aubergine lengthways into 4 slices, each about 1 centimetre thick. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Once the oil has melted, place half the slices of aubergine in the pan and sprinkle a little salt over the top. Leave to cook on a low heat for a few minutes, then turn and cook on the other side. Transfer to a baking tray and repeat with the remaining oil and slices.

5. Place the tray of aubergine in the oven for 20 minutes until soft, piercing with a fork to check. Next, layer the masala mix onto the aubergine slices as evenly as possible, spreading right to the edges, then cook in the oven for another 15 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Cook the aubergine under a hot grill for 5–10 minutes, checking every few minutes to ensure it does not burn.

7. Serve the aubergine hot, with a good drizzle of dill yoghurt, and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves.

More from Saffron Soul:

Saffron Soul by Mira Manek, £20 published by Jacqui Small. 

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