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Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/ gas 5. Spread out the aubergine in a roasting tin (you may need to use two) and drizzle with 3 tbsp of the oil. Turn the pieces over with your hands and season. Roast for 15-20 mins, tossing them halfway through cooking, or until they are dark golden and soft.
Heat the rest of the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and cook the onions over a medium heat until they are soft and pale gold. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli, and cook for another 3 mins, then add the turmeric, coriander and cardamom pods (leave the pods whole). Stir for 1 min, then add the tomatoes and seasoning. Cook over a medium-low heat until the tomatoes begin to soften, stirring, then add the coconut cream, 75ml water and the aubergine.
Bring to just under the boil – if it boils, the coconut cream will split – then turn down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 mins, stirring every so often. Add the lime juice to taste, and check for seasoning. Add a pinch of sugar if it needs it. Stir in the coriander and serve with rice or naan breads. (Inform guests that there are some whole spices in the dish.)