I miss my mom. Since she lives with my dad in New Hampshire, sometimes the only way I can stay close is by cooking the food that reminds me of her. (Yes, she calls everyday, but that’s just to talk about the grandkids.) It’s a strange fact that when I was little I’d never want to eat Indian food. My parents made a deal with my brother and I, if we don’t eat Indian food at home, we have to when we go to other Indian people’s houses. We made the deal.
Once I was older I got a taste of my mom’s eggplant curry. It was cold (we grew up in Ontario) and she whipped up this curry with some warm rice and I’ll never forget it. Now I regret making the deal with my parents. Think of all those years I missed of fish curry, chicken curry, and this eggplant curry. No use crying over spilled lassi though, right?
If you haven’t noticed, curry is a catch-all word for a variety of dishes. Unlike the “curry” powder found in stores, true curry is a mix of spices and herbs that compliment the main protein or vegetable of the dish. You mix it to match. Yes, I’m biased against premixed brands, and likely so. What’s appropriate for vegetables would be lost in meat and what’s appropriate for meat would overwhelm veggies like those found in “Eggplant Curry in a Hurry.” I want the taste and feeling of what my mom made for me, but I don’t have the same kind of time. Enter Thai eggplant once again to save the day. If you have the spices on hand (I buy mine at the local grocery store) this tasty dish is just a memory away.
- 2 lbs. Thai eggplant, trimmed, washed, and quartered
- 1 Onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1-2 green jalapeño, finely chopped (seed it first to reduce the spiciness—add one more if you’re adventurous)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced, mashed into paste
- 1 inch ginger, grated into paste (don’t have fresh ginger? Use ½ tsp ginger powder)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in fry pan and stir fry eggplant until lightly browned. Set aside.
- In the same pan, add remaining oil, sauté onions with a sprinkling of salt until soft, fragrant, and slightly caramelized (golden brown).
- Add in the dry spices, jalapeño, and garlic and ginger pastes and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook on medium heat until the mixture is almost dry and starts to give out oil from the sides and total volume begins to reduce.
- Return fried eggplants to the pan, season with salt, and let cook a few minutes until eggplants are cooked through.
- Garnish with fresh, chopped, cilantro.
Serve over white rice. (You can use brown rice, but don’t tell my mom!)
Try it and tell me what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.