Remove the green tail from the aubergines, and cut into 2cm dice. Set in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. The salt will draw out the aubergines' moisture, which will cut back on the amount of oil used in the cooking.
Peel and dice the onion, and set aside. Peel and finely mince the garlic and ginger.
Cut the chillies in half, remove the seeds if you want to tone down the heat, and finely dice.
Wash the fresh coriander and the spring onions. Chop thinly, and set aside.
In a medium hot saucepan, heat the oil until hazy. Fry off the onions with a pinch of salt until translucent.
Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, and cook out for about a minute.
Fry off the tomato paste until the oil turns red: this is a good sign that any bitterness in the tomato paste has been cooked out.
Add the spices and stir until they're fragrant.
The aubergines go in last, stir to coat with the spice paste and add enough water to just barely cover the vegetables.
Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes until the aubergine is soft, and most of the water has evaporated. Brinjal bhajee is a relatively dry curry.
Serve with rice, and garnish with the chopped coriander and spring onions.
Wash the rice under cold running water, until the run-off are relatively clear.
Drain well, place in a saucepan. Add the water. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Fluff up the rice with the fork before serving.
«Authentic brinjal bhajee is made without tomato paste, but uses a red spice called cock's comb that is a little difficult to find in the UK. If you want to make this dish without the tomato paste, double up on paprika instead.»