What to do with all that eggplant? I am thinking a curry and later an eggplant stew and definitely a fried eggplant tower of some sort; maybe layered up with zuke and tomatoes with some cheese and my homemade tomato sauce.
Anyway, tonight is for curry. I used Charmaine Solomon’s recipe for this eggplant potato curry from her fantastic cookbook, Indian Cooking for Pleasure. I have made many curries out of this thin volume, if you can find a copy you won’t be disappointed except for the breads which are, of course, full of wheat flours.
It is a subtly flavored yet addictive curry and I have been making it for a long time. Even if you are just tepid about eggplant this curry may change your mind. Great to serve to vegetarian friends and it is lovely the second day for lunch.
I subbed in some fresh kale from my garden for the spinach. It will just need to cook a bit longer than spinach. For potatoes I used red ones from my potato bin, 2 small onions from the bin and a small red pepper from the garden. So there was nothing to buy. My version used mild olive oil, the cookbook said mustard oil but I have never used that ingredient.
I didn’t bother to salt my eggplant as it was really fresh and healthy looking. I cut it up and then the potatoes. As the potatoes fried I chopped the kale and then tomatoes. It went together pretty fast once the eggplant was softening.
Make sure you add the spices when the recipe says to; they have to be fried a minute before you add anything else so the spice flavors are fully developed. Please, do not use powdered cumin if you want it to taste great; I have a tiny mortar/pestle in which I crushed my cumin seeds just before using them; a gigantic burst of fresh flavor is created when you freshly crust spices like that; super better in curries!
You can serve this tasty curry with rice or some form of bread. I ate mine plain. It is naturally gluten free; I haven’t figured out how to make any gf Indian bread. Someday….
I confess to having seconds. Couldn’t help myself; haven’t made it in a year and it was as good as I remembered. Even better when made with my own eggplant, pepper and tomatoes!
Eggplant and Potato Curry
Makes enough for six, four if really hungry
1 eggplant, decent sized
2 large potatoes
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 large onion chopped
½ a green pepper or mild chili
1 bunch spinach or kale
4 tbsp plus 1 tsp. canola or mild olive oil
1 ½ tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
½ tsp. cumin seeds – crushed
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. brown sugar
Cut the eggplant into small ½ inch- ¾ inch cubes, Peel and dice the potatoes. Chop the tomatoes, the onion. Seed and slice the chili pepper. Wash the spinach or kale and roughly chop.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a big frying pan, until hot. I used a non-stick 14 inch pan. Add the potato cubes. Fry turning occasionally, until golden brown, remove from pan. Add 2 tbsp. oil, when pan is hot again add the eggplant. Stir, cook until it is soft. I add some water after a few minutes and stir occasionally. Remove from pan. Add a tsp. more oil and cook the onion bits until softening, add ginger, cumin and turmeric. Fry one minute and then add pepper bits, tomato, salt, stir up well. Add back the potatoes and eggplant and the greens. Add a few tbsp. of water to make sure it doesn’t burn. Cook 3-5 minutes. Stir well. Cook a few minutes until spinach is soft. Add the brown sugar and stir a bit before serving.