Sweet Potato & Aubergine Katsu Curry

This dish is a great one for Spring, as we’re straddling the line between comfort food and fresher, seasonal flavours. The katsu vegetables are so delicious: crisp and crunchy on the outside, and meltingly soft within. The curry sauce is incredibly easy to make – I’m planning to make a huge batch of it, then freeze in portion-sizes for easy midweek meals.

You’ll probably end up with more of the breaded aubergine and sweet potato than you need (though it’s so delicious that’s no bad thing): any leftovers can be cut into smaller pieces and added to a salad, or stack them in a bun for a katsu-inspired burger.

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Ingredients (serves 2):
For the curry sauce:
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 5cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 tsp medium curry powder
– ¼ tsp turmeric
– ½ tsp garam masala
– 350ml vegetable stock
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 tsp mirin
– 1-2 tsp soy sauce, to taste
For the katsu veg:
– half an aubergine, cut into ½cm discs
– half a sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½cm discs
– 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned
– 1 large egg, beaten
– 75g panko breadcrumbs

1. Begin by making the curry sauce. Heat a drizzle of groundnut oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook on a low heat for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric and garam masala, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the stock, honey, mirin and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender or food processor, until smooth. Return to the pan and cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. In a pan of boiling water, par-boil the sweet potato for 3-5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and pat dry with kitchen towel. Coat the aubergine and sweet potato slices in the seasoned flour, then dip in the beaten egg before coating in the panko breadcrumbs.

4. Pour enough vegetable oil into a wide frying pan to just cover the base, then heat on medium until shimmering. Add a few slices of the panko vegetables (don’t overcrowd the pan) and fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden, then flip and do the same on the other side. Drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest of the vegetables.

5. Serve the fried katsu vegetables with the curry sauce, rice, edamame beans and pickled ginger.

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