This is such a delicious dish that it is renowned across India. It is an orchestra of flavours; sweet, tangy, nutty, spicy and salty, one of those meals that even meat-eaters crave. It is rich so, though it takes less than 20 minutes to make, it is one to serve as a treat to friends. As aubergines collapse when cooked, Indians use small whole vegetables and make a deep cross from the base to just under the stalk - without cutting the aubergine into pieces - so you can see the whole vegetable and the insides get flavoured too. Serve with Indian breads or a pilaf.