Our garden here in Sonoma is bursting at the seams with all the stuff we planted earlier in the year. I am starting to get overwhelmed with eggplants. I suppose that's what happens when one plants 4 different varieties of the same vegetable. Fortunately Indian cuisine is filled with dishes that star eggplants, so there's no need to repeat anything. The eggplants keep on a coming, so do the Indian recipes.
The eggplants aren't the only prolific thing around here. We've been finishing director's notes for our TV pilot, and I've been working on recipes for the new CocoaPlanet Tasting Room opening soon here in Sonoma. So, there's not a lot of time for fancy-pants cooking. Simple easy and fast are the keys to a weekday lunch at our house, and if it involves eggplant, that's all the better.
We've also been watching an extraordinary Indian cooking show that's currently streaming on Netflix Raja Rasoi Aur Anya Kahaniyaan.
To call it a cooking show is an understatement as it's so much more than that. It's definitely binge worthy with the only warning I'd give... don't watch on an empty stomach. The other day we saw an episode on the cuisine and food history of Tamil Nadu which caused me to dig out some poriyal recipes... specifically ones using eggplant.
I prepared this simple lunch dish of eggplant, tamarind, and coconut served with a spiced Basmati rice. Another great thing... almost everything was straight out of the garden
Here's What You Need :
3 cups of cubed eggplant
2 onions halved then sliced thin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chili
a few curry leaves
You'll also be adding a spice powder
Here's What You Need:
4 tsp vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
1 Tbs coriander seed
3 small dried red chilies
2 tsp urad dal
2 Tbs grated dried unsweetened coconut
I Tbs tamarind
1/4 tsp salt
Here's What To Do:
Heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a small skillet.
When the oil is hot add in the coriander seeds, 3 red chilies, and urad dal.
Stir everything around and cook until the spices get fragrant and the dal starts to turn color and darken.
Take everything out of the pan to cool.
Add another 2 tsp of oil to the pan and toast the coconut until it turns golden. (this doesn't take very long so look sharp.)
Add the toasted coconut to the other spices you just roasted .
Place everything in a spice grinder and grind it up. Stir in the tamarind paste.
Set the Spice Powder aside.
Add 1 Tbs of oil to the same pan you've been using
when the oil is hot add in the mustard seeds, chili, and curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds start to pop, toss in the thinly sliced onions...
...and 1/2 tsp turmeric.
Saute everything for about 3 minutes then add the eggplant cubes...
...1 tsp of salt, and 1/4 cup of water.
Stir everything around well, lower the heat, cover the pan and let things simmer for about 10 minutes. Check on it every once in a while to make sure nothing is sticking or burning.
When the eggplant cubes are tender and the water has been cooked off, sprinkle the dish with the Spice Powder you have made.
Blend it in well.
And serve it up!
Combined with some spiced Basmati rice you've got a great and simple vegan lunch, perfect for Meatless Monday.
The dish is delicious, sweet and spicy and very filling. Working my way through our bumper crop of eggplants never was so easy. This dish can be made using our Indian Spice Kit from The Chaunk.
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Coming up next, dessert Indian Style and more vegetable adventures. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori