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Gingered aubergine dip

ingredients

serves 4
1 kg (2 lb) firm aubergines, stems removed
175 ml (6 fl oz) natural yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1 tablespoon light soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated fresh root ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander or parsley sprigs, to garnish (optional)

method

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Prick the aubergines all over with a fork, then put them into a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until they feel really soft when they are pressed with the back of a spoon.

2. Remove the aubergines from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Cut them in half lengthways, and squeeze gently in your hand to drain off the bitter juices. Scoop out flesh and leave until cold.

3. Put aubergine flesh in a blender with the yoghurt, the garlic, if using, sugar, ginger, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Transfer to 1 large or 4 small serving dishes. Refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours to allow dip to firm up.

4. Just before serving, garnish with coriander or parsley sprigs, if liked.

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