Monday, March 14, 2016

Roasted Curried Eggplant

It took me eons to get into cooking with eggplant for the simple reason that I didn't know why I should.  I have no recollection of eating it as a kid and wasn't sure what a good eggplant should look or taste like.

I now eat eggplant semi-regularly and like the slightly sweet flesh and gooey texture in combination with other ingredients. It's also full of good nutrients like antioxidants and fibre. Think cancer fighting, poop annihilating material!

If you are unfamiliar with eggplants and looking to buy some, choose small ones as they tend to be younger than their larger counterparts and their youth translates to sweeter flesh and less/no bitterness. The leaves should be green and the skin, a uniform color with no damage to it's surface. Go ahead and give your eggplant a good poke. The flesh should spring back when pressure is released. These rules apply to many a vegetable. In conventional supermarkets, I don't often come across a worthy eggplant, but I've had better luck at H&W or markets.


Serves 6-8

  • 4 large eggplants
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T coconut oil/ghee
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2 dried chiles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 T coriander seeds
  • 1 t peppercorns
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 T turmeric
  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 1, 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • cilantro to serve
  • Greek yoghurt to serve

Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the eggplant in one inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil overtop of the eggplant and sprinkle a little salt overtop. Roast for 10 minutes, remove from oven, flip the pieces and roast for another five minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil until melted. Add the onions and crumble in the chiles. Saute on medium heat for ten minutes. While the onions are cooking, peel the cardamom pods, removing the black seeds and blend the seeds with the coriander and peppercorns in a grinder or food processor. Add the spice blend, the turmeric, ginger and garlic and combine well with the onions, allowing the spices to heat.  Add tomatoes, eggplant, coconut milk and water and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

For the rice, rinse until the water runs clear. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with yoghurt and cilantro.