Monday, February 28, 2011

Spicy Eggplant and Potato Curry

I found this dish at my favorite Indian restaurant in San Francisco among the vegetarian curries. Eggplant was a novel vegetable for me, but a standard and versatile vegetable in places as diverse as India and Italy. Small and large eggplants work equally well. Serve with brown rice or whole grain flat bread.

1 medium onion peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seed ground
1/4 tsp red chili flakes ground
1/8 tsp black peppercorns ground
1/2 inch ginger peeled and chopped or grated
2 cloves garlic peeled, crushed and chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 large eggplant with skin, diced (4-6 cups)
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, torn

To grind whole spices: Grind cumin seed, red chili flakes and black peppercorns into coarse powder in spice grinder. Set aside.
To start base: Brown onion, lowering heat once it colors, 10-12 min. Add splash of water, garlic, ginger, and ground spices, and simmer 2-3 min. Then add chopped eggplant and potatoes, and continue to simmer without a lid; as eggplants cook they will release enough water to cook the potatoes, and when water escapes, the sauce with thicken, 30-45 min.
To finish: Mix in garam masala, continue simmer 5 min, adding or boiling water as necessary for moist gravy thickness. Garnish with fresh corriander leaves and serve hot with brown rice or whole wheat flatbread.

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