Thursday, 3 April 2008
Molly over at Orangette posted a recipe for eggplant curry a few weeks ago and it sounded wonderful. I'm not overly keen on eggplant, but lately I've realised doing things a whole other way can make a difference. Certain things I did not like, I do now. Eggplant curry is the only way I can enjoy eggplant at the moment, although I have not yet made one myself. Here is my first attempt and it was wonderful. Molly is spot on, its not hard to make and it definitely gets better as each day goes by. The texture of the eggplants is like velvet and with all those spicing its my idea of comfort food. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, however I finely chopped up the roots and them stems of the coriander (cilantro) and added them to the pan with the ginger and the garlic.
The smell the filled our place when the onions, cummin seeds, coriander roots, ginger, garlic and jalepeno was warm and tangy and spicy all at the same time.
Adapted from Food & Wine, March 2005
3 large eggplants
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ tbs fresh ginger, minced
¼ tsp chilli flakes
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
1 cup frozen peas
¾ cup coriander, chopped
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt, to taste
1 tsp garam masala
Preheat the oven to 260°C. Put the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet, and pierce them all over with a paring knife. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the skins are blackened and the flesh feels very soft when pressed. Set aside to cool slightly. Slice open lengthwise and, using a spoon, scrape the flesh from the skin onto a large bowl. Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the flesh coarsely. (This part can be done a day or so ahead, if you like. Refrigerate the prepared eggplant in a covered container.)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle and pop, about 10 seconds. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and beginning to brown, about 5 - 10 minutes. Add the jalapeño, garlic, ginger, coriander roots/stems and chilli flakes, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, and stir well. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 -15 minutes. Add the paprika and turmeric, and cook, stirring, for another 2 - 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, stir to combine, and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the peas, and cook to warm through. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the coriander, yogurt, garam masala and salt.