Aubergine Katsu Curry

Katsu curry is a favourite comfort food of mine (thanks primarily to @wagamama_uk). I had a mind-blowing version in Tokyo last summer, yet it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. This recipe is veggie, but you can easily swap the aubergine for chicken with the same breadcrumbing technique.
Takes 45 minutes, makes 4 work lunches

2 big aubergines, sliced into thick 2cm rounds
100g flour
2 eggs, beaten
100g breadcrumbs (panko breadcrumbs ideally)
1 big onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A thumb-size piece of ginger, grated
500ml vegetable stock
2 teaspoons garam masala
4 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons plain flour
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon honey
A bunch of coriander/cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Cooked rice, to serve

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2) Dust your aubergine rounds with flour. In one bowl crack two eggs and lightly beat them. In another bowl, add the breadcrumbs with a sprinkle of garam masala, salt and pepper.
3) Take the floured aubergine, dip both sides in the egg, then dip into the breadcrumb mixture. Pat the breadcrumbs onto the aubergine so they stick. Transfer to an oiled baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turn, then back for a final 10 minutes until golden on both sides.
4) Meanwhile make the curry sauce; put a saucepan on a medium heat. Add a touch of oil, the onion, garlic, carrots and ginger, and cook slowly for 10 minutes until soft. Add the flour, bay leaves and curry powder, and cook out for a couple of minutes.
5) Next, add the veg stock, stirring frequently so you don’t get lumps, along with the vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or so until thickened. I like to blitz half the sauce in the blender so it’s a bit smoother, but you can leave as is if you like.
6) Stir in the coriander and check the seasoning; you may need some more pepper and a sprinkle of garam masala.
7) Serve the aubergine slices with rice and a generous spoonful of curry sauce.

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