Sue’s out for the evening again (my turn on Thursday… she’ll probably get no more imaginative than French Toast).
I had a couple eggplants I’d bought before the Iron Chef pot luck, to have in case the chosen ingredient was more Mediterranean. It’s not her favorite as a main course, so I’m more than happy to work with it again. I thought about doing the Bulgur salad again, but kt’s too soon to repeat myself.
Strong candidates were eggplant parmesan, or something Indian. I really didn’t want to fry (I will lose some weight one of these months)… even a lot of the Indian dishes used things like half-cups of oil, coconut milk, etc. But I found one recipe that looked light, spicy, and relatively quick. This is a great weeknight meal that takes less time to cook than it does to make rice (especially the brown jasmine rice I put up in the rice cooker). I haven’t seen an Indian cookbook specify cooking anything in a microwave before, 1000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Baira surprised me here.
It certainly was spicy: one measly Serrano chile being stir fried and the air in the kitchen was very hard to breathe.
It would have been vegan if I didn’t dollop on some greek yogurt… which served nicely to tone down the chile.
Recipe: Indian Stir-Fried Eggplant
adapted from 1000 Indian Recipes by Naleem Baira
1 large (1lb / 440g) eggplant
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt
2 tsp (10ml) oil
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) cumin seed
1/4 tsp (1.25ml) cracked black pepper
1 Serrano chile, chopped fine
about 1/3 cup (80ml) finely diced red onion
2 small cloves garlic, chopped fine
1.5 tsp (7.5ml) finely chopped fresh ginger
about 1/2 cup (120 ml) (around 10) chopped grape tomatoes
1.5 tsp (7.5ml) ground coriander
a large pinch turmeric
1/4 cup (60ml) chopped cilantro
To serve: brown jasmine rice, greek yogurt, a pinch of garam masala
- Cut the eggplant into bite-sized pieces (I cut it in eights lengthwise, then 1/2″ slices)
- Place eggplant in a microwave-safe baking dish, sprinkle with salt, cover, and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
- While your rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the mise en place, read a magazine… (brown rice takes too long to cook)
- In a wok, heat the oil on high. Turn on your vent hood, by all that is holy.
- Add the pepper and cumin seeds, stir until fragrant (3o seconds at most)
- Immediately add the onions, garlic, ginger and chile. (this is when it will get hard to breathe)
- Turn the heat down to medium, stir fry the aromatics until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. If the heat is too high and it’s drying out, add a little water.
- Add the coriander and turmeric, stir, then add tomatoes, stir for one minute
- Add the eggplant and cilantro and about 1/4 cup (120ml) water, stir for about 5 minutes until everything is soft.
- Serve atop rice, with a sprinkle of garam masala and a dollop of yogurt. And a drink.