Peel and grate the garlic cloves. Halve the habanero chilli (this week’s chillies are HOT, so even if you like things spicy, be sure to flick out all the white bits and have a nibble to see how much you want to add – half may be plenty), and finely chop. Grate the lemon zest. Slide everything into a mortar and pestle along with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and bash together well to form a paste. Stir in 1 tbsp each of the Demerara sugar and tamarind paste and set aside.
Trim the French beans and slice the white mushrooms. Trim the aubergine and cut into small pieces. Finely slice the spring onions, keeping the white and green parts separate. Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil.
Pour 2 tbsp oil into a large frying pan or wok and bring to a high heat. Slide in the aubergine and stir fry for 5-6 mins, till very soft and caramelised on the outside. Add the mushrooms, beans and the white parts of the spring onions and continue to cook for 4 mins, till glossy.
Reduce the heat under the frying pan to medium and spoon in the tamarind chilli paste, tossing everything together to coat. Tip in the spinach and stir till wilted. Reduce the heat to low.
Drop the noodles into the boiling water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins, then drain well. Tip the noodles into the frying pan and combine with the stir-fried vegetables.
Pile the noodles onto plates and serve with wedges of the zested lemon and the sliced green spring onion tops.
No pestle and mortar, no problem^
There’s an easy makeshift method to creating your tamarind chilli paste. Simply add all of the ingredients into a sturdy bowl and grind with the bottom of a jam jar or heavy rolling pin.