Karmasutra Curry Aubergine & Pumpkin Smash (VG)

This recipe by

Urban Rajah
Urban Rajah


Warming, smoky and fragrant, it’s the scent of love in a pan. Cloves, cardamom, chillies and ginger form a smouldering embrace with these innocent veggies. Cleopatra was known to have bathed with in cardamom pods and used them as an ingredient for seduction!


Serves 4

  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 thumbsized knob of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 long red chilli, diced finely
  • 250g butternut squash diced
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ medium aubergine, diced into large pieces
  • 120ml water
  • 40g sultanas
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chopped mint for dressing


  1. Crush the cloves and cardamom pods to bust them open.
  2. In a large frying pan heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion becomes soft and transparent. Add the cloves and cardamom pods and sauté for a minute until you can smell their aroma.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes, squash, aubergine, sultanas, remaining spices, chilli, salt and water and pop a lid onto the frying pan. Turn the heat down and simmer for around 30 minutes or until the aubergine and pumpkin has become tender.
  4. Scatter the chopped mint over the top
  5. Serve as a vegetarian main with boiled wild rice alongside Maharani’s Asparagus. Or simply serve alongside other dishes as a feast menu.

Urban Rajah

The Urban Rajah (aka Ivor Peters) is a TV chef, food writer, consultant and pop up restaurateur. He feeds over 30,000 people a month. With roots in the Indian subcontinent he’s on a mission to spice up the nation through accessible recipes and menus.

Urban Rajah has engaged audiences with his combination of cooking and story-telling across the UK, UAE, India, South Africa and USA. His signature-waxed moustache ensures he’s never forgotten and his recipes and stories guarantee he’s always remembered. For him, food is a consumable form of art which has the power to excite, inspire, educate, inform, seduce and satisfy human longing. His media credits include appearances on C4, BBC1, BBC London plus a slew of contributions across UKTV, The Guardian, The Independent, Evening Standard, Mail on Sunday, National Geographic and Delicious Magazine amongst others.

Urban Rajah believes that food tastes better when they’re accompanied with stories and the stories help foster a better understanding of people’s heritage, communities, struggles, achievements, aspirations and inspirations. In short, food is a cultural art form, it’s the glue which, connects us to each other helping us gain unique human insights.

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