Easy Eggplant Curry
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Like most curries this recipe keeps well, and actually improves with time. If you have leftovers simply reheat the next day, re-check seasoning, adding more salt if needed and serve on freshly steamed rice. I like to use ghee in curries for the authentic flavour it gives. It is lactose-free, but if you avoid dairy altogether simply use a neutral vegetable oil like rice bran oil. I like to use whole cumin seeds, but by all means use ground cumin if that’s what you have. Make sure you use regular brown onions in this recipe, red onions have a higher sugar content and tend to burn too easily in curries like this, where long, slow cooking is required
2 medium (800 g/1lb 12 oz) eggplants (aubergine)
3 tablespoons ghee/vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 1/2 centimeters (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, grated
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds/ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or a small pinch of chilli powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
400 grams tin (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
a small handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves to garnish (optional)
1. Wash eggplants and dice into 2 cm cubes.
2. Heat ghee/oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until a deep golden brown colour. (Be patient and don’t be tempted to rush this stage).
3. Add the grated ginger, crushed garlic, fennel and cumin seeds (if using, if you are using cumin powder however, add in the next stage with the other ground spices). Cook for about 2 minutes until garlic and ginger are fragrant. Add ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne/chilli powder and salt. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the diced eggplant and stir well to coat evenly with spices. Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, give it a big stir, then place the lid on and continue to cook over low-medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Check and stir a few times to ensure it’s not catching on the bottom. Turn temperature down a little if need be.
4. When the sauce has thicken and the eggplant is meltingly soft, check the seasoning once more. Serve sprinkled with coriander/cilantro leaves and steamed rice. Enjoy!
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