For me, this dish is the taste of summer and instantly recalls the seemingly never-ending summers spent with my family during my school holidays. Fragrant with fresh herbs and deliciously soft aubergines, you can make a big pot of this ahead of time and enjoy it over a few days as the flavours meld and develop.
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
150ml vegetable or sunflower oil
4 onions, halved and finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red bird’s eye chilli, chopped, or to taste
1kg aubergines, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
3 long red peppers, finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 handful fresh pink basil or 10g dried green or pink basil, chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, half the garlic and the chilli and cook, stirring continuously, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the aubergines and red peppers and continue to cook, stirring, for around 10 minutes, until soft and tender.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, push the vegetables to the side of the pan.
Add the tomato purée to the centre of the pan and cook, stirring, for around 2 minutes, until thickened, then incorporate with the other vegetables.
Add the chopped tomatoes, fresh herbs and the remaining garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. Season to taste and serve hot.
Extracted from Supra: A Feast of Georgian Cooking by Tiko Tuskadze (Pavilion Books, approx €23). Photograph by Yuki Sugiura.