It's raining!! I can't believe it. After two weeks of beautiful weather, it's raining. And apparently it's supposed to be like this for a while. Oh why, Britain? Why??!!
This calls for comfort food. Actually, while I'm on the subject, we often talk about the comfort of food rather than why we need the comfort. Many times, like now, the weather is to blame, particularly in winter when, depending on where you live, it can rain for days on end or the snow is so heavy that you're literally snowed in behind six feet of snow (not in Britain, but it happens).
But, let's be completely honest, it's not always the weather that gets us down. Sometimes a loved one gets sick, sometimes you or your partner are made redundant, or sometimes you have a fight with someone dear to you and when you decide not to speak to them anymore you can't remember why you were fighting in the first place. We are only human.
It's no wonder that people stereotypically gift casseroles after a bereavement. Or chocolate is offered as a peace-maker. We do take solace in food. And isn't it all the better if that food ticks all those comfort boxes? "There are comfort boxes?" I hear you ask. Yes.
Probably cooked in oil
Hearty or sweet
They are comforting because one way or another, we crave them. Even if we don't want to crave them, we know we do. If you are the cook, or if you have a cook in the house, try this recipe the next time you know someone in need of some comfort (or for a Friday night).
1 large aubergine, peeled and diced
1 red onion, finely diced
2 yellow courgettes, sliced (green will be nice too)
2 red chillies, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup or Worcester sauce (or 1 chicken stock cube if you're a meat eater)
handful chopped fresh coriander
2 spring onions, chopped
In a large frying pan, fry off the onion in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until it's nice and translucent. Add the aubergine and fry it until it's quite mushy. This could take 10 minutes of cooking and stirring frequently - don't let it stick to the pan! Add the chillies and fry them off then add the courgettes.
Cook the courgette slices until they are soft. If you can manage it, try and get some nice browning on them as well. It will depend on the size of your pan whether you can do this or not. But as long as they're soft.
Then add the spices. Mix in the paprika, garlic powder, and cumin and cook until you think you've ruined the dish because everything's gone quite dry. Then add the tomato puree and mushroom ketchup. Mix everything in well together and leave it to cook until all the spices are cooked off (2-3 minutes). Season to taste.
Take your pan off the heat and stir in the coriander and spring onions. Serve with either crunchy taco shells or soft tacos and all your favourite taco fixings. Gotta have that sour cream.