Halve the aubergines, then cut each
half into wedges. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a
large pan, preferably non-stick, and
brown half the aubergines for 2-3 mins
on each side until golden brown and crisp
all over. Scoop onto a plate, repeat with
more oil and the remaining aubergines,
then set everything aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan with
the mustard seeds and curry leaves and
fry for 30 secs until fragrant. Stir in the
onions and continue cooking until they
are softened and beginning to brown.
Add the dried chillies and spices with a
spoonful of the thick coconut milk from
the top of the can, then fry for 1 min
more. Add the remaining coconut milk,
tomatoes and half a can of water. Simmer
for 25-30 mins until thick and saucy.
Stir in the chickpeas and aubergines.
Continue simmering for 5 mins or so,
until everything is hot and the aubergines
are tender. Serve with rice or warm naan
bread, scattered with a few extra curry
leaves sizzled in a splash of oil, if you like.