Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Making A Vegetable Exciting With Eggplant Curry

I’m always looking for interesting ways to add vegetables to my meals. Personally, I like plain vegetables just fine. I think that if they’re well cooked (meaning not too much!) they’re usually very tasty. But a lot of people don’t really like their veggies. So making ‘exciting’ veggies can be a plus at diner time. Last night I tried this delicious eggplant recipe. Eggplants can be pretty boring if kept plain, but can become so rich in taste when they absorb all sorts of flavors and juices while being cooked.

Managing your pantry is really important when you cook. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to cook a simple ingredient and not having anything exciting to transform that simple ingredient into an amazing dish. Which is why you should always have a few basics on hand. Coconut milk is one I always have in stock. You never know when you’re going to want to add it to your cooking. Last night was one of those nights. Mixed with the curry leaves and a few great spices, my simple and plain eggplant became an exciting vegetable that everyone at the table was really happy to eat. I even got asked for seconds, which is always a good sign!  

Curry leaves

Makes 4 servings

2 eggplants
2 tbsp Ghee or vegetable oil
3 onions, finely diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
4-5 curry leaves
1 tbsp powder coriander
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tbsp tomato paste
250 ml coconut milk
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (or basil)

On a baking sheet, line the eggplants and sprinkle with salt. Leave to sweat for 30 minutes. Pat dry with Scott towels.

In a large skillet, heat the ghee and add the onions. Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Incorporate the garlic and ginger. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves, the powder coriander, cumin and mustard seeds, and the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the eggplants, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the eggplants are tender. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes. Incorporate the fresh coriander. Serve immediately.  

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