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Curry house jalfrezi

Serves: 3-4


  • 1 large aubergine
  • 4 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • small bunch fresh coriander
  • 5 green bird’s-eye chillies
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 – 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 8 Tbsp tomato purée
  • 500g cooked basmati rice, or use 2x 250g bags microwavable basmati rice, to serve
  • salt

For the stock

  • 1 onion
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 500ml + 1 Tbsp water
  • ½fresh red chilli
  • 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika


  1. Preheat grill to 200°C.
  2. First, cook the aubergine. Trim the aubergine and cut it into 2cm chunks. Spread over the baking tray and sprinkle with 2 Tsbp oil and a good pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove when golden brown all over but not burnt.
  3. Meanwhile, make the stock. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and grate. Peel and grate the garlic. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with 1 Tbsp water to make a paste.
  4. Finely chop the red chilli and tomatoes. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp of the ginger and garlic paste. Add all the remaining spices and half the water and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes, until browned and reduced completely. Pour in the rest of the water, stir and transfer to a liquidiser. Blend to a smooth liquid and clean out the pan.
  5. Back to the curry – peel and thinly slice the onion. Cut the pepper in half and cut out the stem and seeds, then thinly slice. Pick the leaves from the coriander. Finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Trim and thinly slice two of the chillies. Quarter the tomatoes.
  6. Pour the remaining oil into the clean saucepan and place over a high heat. Add the onion, pepper and sliced chillies and fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the chopped coriander stems and remaining ginger and garlic paste (from making the stock). Add the curry powder, garam masala, ¼ tsp hot chilli powder, tomato purée, grilled aubergines and stock. Taste and add more salt, garam masala and chilli powder if needed. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until slightly thickened.
  7. Heat the rice or cook it following the instructions on the packet. Transfer to a serving dish. Cut the remaining chillies in half lengthways and use them to garnish the curry along with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve with the rice.

Classic lasagne

Serves: 6-8


  • 2 onions
  • 100g sundried tomatoes, plus 2 tbsp oil from the jar
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 700g chestnut mushrooms
  • 300ml red wine
  • 1 Tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 Tbsp red miso paste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2x 400g tins chopped plum tomatoes
  • 800ml water
  • 500g dried lasagne sheets
  • salt and black pepper
  • salad leaves, to serve

For the bechamel

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 125g flour
  • 1.25L unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1½ Tbsp nutritional yeast


  1. Peel and quarter the onions and blitz them in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the sundried tomato oil to the large pan on the heat and sauté the onions, stirring, for 5–6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the carrots and pulse them in the food processor with the celery until minced. Remove the leaves from the rosemary and thyme and finely chop. Peel and grate the garlic and add it to the pan; stir for 1 minute. Add the carrot, celery, rosemary and thyme, reduce the heat slightly and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 12–15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, thinly slice the sundried tomatoes. Pulse the mushrooms in the food processor until finely minced. Add to the pan along with the sundried tomatoes. Stir, increase the heat slightly and sauté, stirring for 8–10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine, increase the heat and stir constantly for 5–6 minutes, until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Add the tomato purée, miso paste, balsamic vinegar, oregano and soy sauce and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and water. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 30minutes. Taste and season.
  5. While it is simmering, make the béchamel. Put the second pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the flour and stir for 3–5 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Add the nutritional yeast and stir until smooth. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until the béchamel thickens to a custard-like consistency. Taste and season. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Layer up your lasagne. Spread a quarter of the ragu into the lasagne dish and spoon over a quarter of the béchamel. Cover with lasagne sheets, breaking them if necessary, to make a complete layer with no gaps. Repeat three times, reserving some béchamel to cover the top completely. Garnish with a few rosemary leaves. Cover with foil and put on the lowest shelf of the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with the salad leaves. The leftovers will taste amazing the next day – simply bring back to piping hot in the oven or microwave.

These are edited extracts from Bish Bash Bosh by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (HQ Non Fiction, RRP $39.99).

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