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This goes well with the Salmon Cakes with Dill and Capers

Baigan choka

This recipe uses hot oil flavoured with onion and some vigorous whisking to achieve a wonderful creaminess and subtlety miles away from the intensity of those old favourites. To make it even milder, leave out the garlic and use less chilli, if you like.

Ingredients

3 medium aubergines (900g)
1 mild red chilli
½ tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp sunflower oil
½ small onion, thinly sliced (50g)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped chives
Salt

Instructions

The best way to get the required smoky flavour into your aubergines is to cook them directly over a gas flame – line the area around the hob heads with foil and place the aubergines over three medium flames. Roast for about 15 minutes, turning frequently with metal tongs, until the skin is burnt all over. Likewise, roast the chilli over a flame for a minute or two, until it blisters and chars. But don't worry if you don't have a gas hob – just grill the aubergines instead: prick them all over with a sharp knife, place on a foil-lined tray and place directly under a hot grill. Cook for 70 minutes, turning every 20 minutes, until they have deflated and the skin is charred all over. Add the chilli for the last 10 minutes, so it, too, gets charred.

Yotam Ottolenghi