“Cuttlefish is perfect for a curry, because it readily takes on the spicing and responds well to slow cooking; this is especially true of bigger cuttles. I’ve used curry powder here for convenience, but you can grind and mix your own spices if you prefer.
Heat a large sauté pan over a high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of oil. Meanwhile cut the cuttlefish into large equally sized chunks. When the oil is hot, add the cuttlefish and fry for 3 minutes, turning as necessary to colour evenly. Transfer the cuttlefish to a colander set over a bowl.
Peel and chop the onions and garlic, then deseed and chop the chillies. Peel the ginger and chop.
Place the pan back over a medium heat and add another tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the onions, garlic, chillies and ginger. Fry for 5 minutes until the onions are softened and starting to brown. Stir in the curry powder and garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the aubergine and dice, then chop the tomatoes. Add the to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to collapse. Give the curry base a really good stir and then return the cuttlefish to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk and top up with enough water to just cover everything. Bring to the boil and add a good pinch of sea salt.
Turn the heat down so that the curry is simmering very gently and cook for 1½ hours, topping up the liquor with more water if necessary to ensure everything remains covered.
When the cuttlefish is soft and cooked, drain and add the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes, but don’t add any more water now – you want the liquor to reduce and thicken.
Pick the coriander leaves and add to the curry along with the spinach, then taste for seasoning, adding more salt if required.
Share the curry equally between 4 warmed bowls and serve with yoghurt and rice if you like. I prefer to eat it on its own with naan bread to mop up the sauce.
If you can’t get hold of cuttlefish, or simply want a quicker curry, you can use a firm fleshed fish like monkfish or gurnard instead.