Monday, July 31, 2017

Simple, Spicy, Eggplant Curry.

   We had a wet and cold Winter here in Sonoma, and our Spring was the same. It has taken forever for a lot of the things that we usually plant to bloom and ripen. I'm still waiting on a mass of green tomatoes to turn red. Meanwhile after a couple of super hot weeks the eggplants started to produce. I usually plant about 4 different varieties of eggplant so that almost anything I want to cook is covered. My little baby globe eggplants which are traditionally used for this Indian dish are still not ready but the Japanese eggplants were, so I decided to work with what I had and make a hot Summertime Eggplant Curry, using them and some of the Serrano chilies from my garden.

   This is a dish that cooks up pretty fast and also is great as a make-ahead, reheat tomorrow dish. Giving everything time to mellow is one of the best features of Indian cooking, and why not do most of the heavy lifting on a cooler Summer evening, and just simply reheat the next day?  This is a vegan dish, and the gravy is made of a mixture of nuts and seeds, you won't miss the dairy. So without further ado....

Spicy Eggplant Curry In A Nut Gravy


Here's What You Need: 

5 medium sized Japanese eggplant cut into pieces
3 Tbs vegetable oil, I use coconut oil
1 small onion chopped
1 and 1/4 tsp shallot ginger paste (1 Tbs chopped fresh ginger, and 1 Tbs chopped shallot blended together with a bit of water in a grinder)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp black onion seed
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
5 curry leaves (if you have them)
2 serrano chilies chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish

For the Nut Gravy:

4 tbs peanuts
3 Tbs dried unsweetened grated coconut
2  tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds

Here's What To Do:

In a small pan dry roast the coconut, peanuts, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
When they start to toast take them off the fire and place them in a blender or spice grinder with a little bit of water if needed.

Grind the nuts and seeds to a thick paste and set it aside.

In a skillet or or kadhi heat 2 Tbs of the vegetable oil.

When the oil is hot add in the cut up eggplant pieces.

Cook on medium heat until the eggplants are a bit soft,(10 minutes or so.) Don't overcook them.
Take the eggplants out of the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain.
add 1 more Tbs of oil to the pan and when it's hot add in the mustard seeds.

When they start to pop add in the onion seed and fennel seed...

...the chopped green chilies and the curry leaves if you have them.

Stir everything around and then add in the chopped onions.

Cook until they're translucent then add in the ginger shallot paste.

Cook the paste for about 3 minutes or so,then add in the cumin, and coriander powder, salt to taste, and the Kashmiri chili powder.

Cook the spices for about 3 minutes then add in 1/2 cup of water to make sure they don't burn.
Add the seed and nut paste to the pan.

Add the turmeric and cook the paste for about 5 minutes on a medium low heat.
Add in the cooked eggplants...

...and two cups of water.

Stir everything around, cover the pan and cook on a medium low heat for 15-20 minutes.

When the 15-20 minutes are done the mixture will be thicker, add in the tamarind, and sugar, and the garam masala.

Stir everything together well, sprinkle in some fresh cilantro...

...and serve it up!

This dish is hot and spicy with a touch of sweet. Serve it with a simple rice dish, and some chapatti for a tasty Indian lunch or supper. Coming up next...tomatillos in  an Indian dal. Follow along on Twitter @ kathygori


  1. Too good! Really mouth watering!

  2. It's been a strangely cool, wet summer here on the East Coast, but the weather hasn't dampened my taste for eggplant, my favorite vegetable! This looks like a particularly delicious way to prepare it.

  3. I've never tried a recipe like this before, with eggplants, so I'm definitely curious to try it. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. It is a major help to any cook in the event that he knows about the diverse techniques.



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