Spiced Aubergines

2 aubergines, halved lengthwise
4 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra if needed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander or parsley
fresh coriander sprigs to garnish
crusty bread, to serve

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, slash the flesh of the aubergines a few times. Sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander for about 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.

Gently fry the aubergines, cut-side down, in the oil for 5 minutes, then drain and place (cut side up) in a shallow ovenproof dish.

Using the same frying pan, gently fry the onions, garlic, and green pepper, adding extra oil if necessary. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables have softened. Add the tomatoes, sugar, ground coriander and black pepper to the onion and green pepper mixture. Stir to combine thoroughly, then cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture is reduced. Stir in the chopped coriander or parsley.

 Spoon the mixture on top of the halved aubergines, cover and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool, garnish with coriander sprigs, and serve cold with crusty bread.

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