Wash excess dirt off the artichokes; you may need to use a scrubbing brush or steel wool to get into their little nooks and crannies. Place in a deep pot and cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to the boil, then cook until you can just insert a thin knife into them. Tip into a colander, then cut them open lengthways while they’re hot (a pair of tongs and a sharp knife are required unless you have chefs’ asbestos fingers). Leave them to cool down and let the steam escape from within, as this will help them cook when deep-frying.
Prepare the aubergine yoghurt relish: peel alternating lengthways strips of skin from the aubergine to leave it decoratively half-striped, then cut it into 1.5cm cubes. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, chilli and cumin. Heat a pan and add the garlic mixture, stirring to prevent it burning. Once the garlic has turned golden, add the aubergine pieces and stir for 10 seconds to coat them in the flavoured oil. Add 150ml of cold water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and
Put the relish in a bowl and serve alongside the artichokes.
© 2007 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.