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Put the aubergines in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with a big pinch of salt. Mix and leave for 1 hour to drain the moisture, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Put all the paste ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz to a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a lidded kadhai or wok over a medium heat. Fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the curry leaves and the masala paste, and fry for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add the drained aubergine and the chilli powder, and stir well. Season and fry for 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway, until the aubergine has cooked through and oil rises to the surface. Cool and decant into a sterilised jar. Chill for a week before opening.