Beef and Aubergine Casserole

Good food doesn't have to be complicated - this comforting casserole is simple but hits the spot. Just what you need when you come in from the cold...

Beef and Aubergine Casserole

Serves 4-6


350g minced beef
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
¾ tsp curry powder
2 aubergines, about 700g, cut into 1.5cm slices
120ml olive oil
2 large potatoes, about 500g, peeled and cut into 1.5cm slices
1 large onion, cut into 1cm slices
1 large green pepper, cored, de-seeded and sliced
350ml water
4 tbsp tomato purée
1½ tbsp tamarind paste
1½ tbsp granulated sugar
3 tomatoes, about 280g, cut into 1cm slices
salt and white
pepper basmati rice or bread, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the beef and two crushed garlic cloves in a bowl. Add the curry powder and some salt and pepper and mix by hand until well combined. Divide the mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Set aside.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan on a medium–high heat. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with olive oil and fry in batches for 4–5 minutes on each side, until golden. Set aside.

Brush the potato slices with oil and cook in the same pan for about 6 minutes on each side until golden but not completely cooked through. Set aside.

In the same pan, fry the onion slices and green pepper in about 2 tablespoons of the oil for about 5 minutes, until just golden. Add the remaining garlic and fry for 1 more minute. Set aside.

Finally, fry the meatballs on a high heat for 2–3 minutes until well browned but not cooked through. In a measuring jug, mix the water with the tomato purée, tamarind paste and sugar until well blended.

Arrange half of the aubergine, potato, onion, pepper, tomatoes and meatballs in a 30cm round baking dish, overlapping them. Season well, then pour half of the tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with the rest of the vegetables and meatballs. Season well and pour the remaining sauce on top.

Cover with foil or a lid and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Serve with basmati rice or bread to mop up the sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Intlak Alsaiegh from Together: Our Community Cookbook, a cookbook organised by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in aid of the Hubb Community Kitchen, set up for women displaced by the Grenfell Tower fire