Eggplant, Cauliflower and Tomato Curry

September 30, 2009

eggplant tomato curry

Photo: Sarah Shatz on Food52

As D-Day approaches, I find myself increasingly relying on old standbys and other people’s recipes, as opposed to developing new ones of my own. I just don’t have the wherewithal to stand in the kitchen experimenting and tweaking for hours. And I anticipate that this may continue for a couple of months, as I get settled into life with the new ChowBaby.

You know me… I won’t stop whipping up my own creations but, in the coming weeks, I also hope to vet and share with you easy, family-friendly recipes perfect to get you through a super busy time. One recipe source I’ll definitely be scouring is Food52, a recipe crowd sourcing project by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. This Eggplant and Tomato Curry is one of the first things that caught my eye on the site.

I ended up adapting the recipe a little bit (I can’t help myself!). I used powdered spice instead of whole seeds, because that’s what I had on hand. I also added cauliflower to boost nutritional value. In order to keep this quick and easy, I steamed cauliflower florets (in the microwave) before briefly sauteing them with onions for extra flavor. The original recipe looks scrumptious, but I was quite pleased with my version. Leftover alert: It was even better the next day.

Eggplant, Cauliflower and Tomato Curry
(can be served to kids 10+ mos)

2 tbsp organic vegetable oil
1 tsp organic mustard seed powder
1 tsp organic ground cumin
1 organic onion, sliced
1/2 head organic cauliflower, cut into florets & steamed
4 organic Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
1 organic serrano chile, seeded & finely chopped (I used jalapeno)
1 tsp organic coriander
1 1/2 cans organic diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 tsp organic garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp organic black pepper
organic limes, optional
chopped organic coriander, optional
raisins, optional

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add mustard and cumin and toast until fragrant.

2. Add onions and stir occasionally until they turn deep brown in spots.

3. Add steamed cauliflower and saute until it takes on some color. Remove from pan to make room for eggplant (it won’t fry nicely if the pan is too crowded).

4. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and, when hot, fry eggplant until the skin begins to turn brown and the flesh softens.

5. Return cauliflower to pan and add chile, coriander, tomatoes, garam masala, salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add a little water if it gets too dry (keeping in mind that you want a thick/solid sauce, not a thin/watery one).

6. Serve with rice and lime wedges. Top with chopped cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, and raisins.

2 Responses

  1. Artemas says:

    I enjoy eggplant but I have never cooked with it yet. Any specific way it should be cut? Which parts are to be thrown away? Thanks for your help and a great blog to read.

  2. stacie says:

    How you cut the eggplant really depends on how you are going to cook it. If making in eggplant parmesan, for example, you’d cut rounds. This recipe, on the other hand, calls for 1/2″ pieces (think squares/rectangles)—you want them to be hearty chunks. All of the eggplant, with the exception of the hard green stem, is edible. The skin is rich in flavonoids and other antioxidants, plus it helps keep the vegetable together once cooked (eggplant “meat” gets soft and breaks down easily), so I always keep the skin on. Unless, of course, you want the eggplant to break down and become part of a sauce (eg, to thicken it)–then you might peel it.

    Hope this is helpful. Thanks for reading!

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