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Cooking with newspaper: Yotam Ottolenghi's Aubergine pahi and carrot and coconut soup

Next up in my attempt to cook or bin the huge sheaf of recipes I've stashed from newspapers and magazines was an offering from Yotam Ottolenghi in The Guardian.

I'm faintly annoyed by Ottolenghi's column - he used to do a series of weekly articles called The New Vegetarian, which a while ago disappeared. Writing for the veggies was obviously a bit too much for him or The Guardian, and he swapped The New Vegetarian for writing with an evidently less challenging remit of cooking with meat and fish. Sigh.

Still, grumbling aside, I decided to take on a vegetarian recipe from his not-vegetarian column: aubergine pahi, a Sri Lankan dry curry.

I couldn't make it exactly as the recipe states - it was hammering it down with rain when I realised I didn't have the onion called for and I couldn't be arsed to get to the shop to buy one - but I adhered to it as best I could, onion or no onion, and using a hand blender to make the curry paste instead of a spice grinder.

The recipe wasn't a long one to whip up, which got it a thumbs-up from me, and resulted in a reasonably interesting mix of spices to keep tastebuds busy.

It also probably went down well due to the fact it used a metric truckload of oil. If you deep fry most things, they tend to taste of win. You could probably deep fry natto and it wouldn't taste like smelly socks wrapped in snot (although I don't much fancy trying it to find out).

Verdict: A solid if not mind-blowing veggie curry. There are so many good recipes for such things out there, I'm not sure this one gets a free pass to stay out of the recycling.

Next up is a carrot and coconut soup recipe, which you can find here. (It's not vegan as such due to its inclusion of ghee, but vegan margarine works fine in its place).

If you can't make soup without a recipe, there really is something wrong with you: take stock, add veggies and other crap of your choice, cook, and then blend or don't if you don't want to. Still, even the most hardened soup-makers probably need a bit of inspiration so Yottam gets another go.

The size of the pieces of veg the recipe recommends were too large for them to cook in the time it specifies, but other than than, it wasn't a difficult recipe to make.

The simplicity of soup works in his favour here - the end result was surprisingly so much more than the sum of its parts. The Asian spices gave it a depth and complexity that wasn't lost in the creaminess of the coconut milk.  In short, it's a winner.

Verdict: Definitely a keeper. Yum.

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