Monday, June 25, 2012

Eggplant Curry

More Cooking Sharing.

Eggplant Curry
You’ll need:
~1 kg (2.2 lbs) small eggplants that look like this:

In India, this is all we find, but you may have to hunt a little in the US. I’ve never used the huge ones. They should be shiny, smooth, and not have holes. If you live in India, stick those suckers in some salt water for about 15 minutes and make sure you check for black spots inside when you cut them - that be bugs.

~About 3 Tbsp channa dal, that look like this:

This is NOT the same as channa (chickpea) beans, nor the fried Channa dal that people use for chutney. If anyone knows what this is called in the US, let me know. You can find them in an Indian grocery.

~About 2 Tbps Urad Dal that looks like this:

Urad dal is a white lentil. You can also find these in an Indian grocery.

~3 red onions, peeled, and chopped to small pieces

~3 green chiles (either Thai bird chiles, or jalapenos) you can change this as per how much you want it spicy, like this:

They should be cut in half lengthwise. Yummy!

~Handful of green curry leaves, 2 – 3 stems, looks like this:

They’re called Curry Patta here and have a strong peppery smell.

~1 tsp salt
~ One large pressure cooker
~One wooden/metal spoon for smooshing the eggplant after it cooks.
~Oil – any cooking oil is fine, but I prefer Olive or Sunflower.
~1 tsp turmeric powder
~Chopped Cilantro for garnish

To Make:

Heat oil in pressure cooker until hot, but not smoking. Fry Channa dal and Urad dal in the pressure for 1 minute. Turn heat to medium. Add onions, chilis, and curry leaves. You’ll probably need an air vent/fan at this point, but hang in there. It’s not so strong when it’s done.

Fry onions, chilis, and leaves until onions are browned thoroughly but not burnt, stirring occasionally. Cut eggplants into small chunks, removing any stems/leaves (insert pot joke here), adding to pan as you cut. They turn brown if you leave them out. Add 1 tsp salt and stir a little. Remember, you can always add more, but too much will screw up a dish big time. Place cover and weight on pressure cooker and turn heat to high. When your cooker starts whistling (or screaming, like mine does), turn heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

When done, turn heat off. Either very carefully (with a silicone mitt if you have one) let off the steam from the cooker, let it sit and cool on its own for 10 minutes or until pressure is gone, or run it under cold water for a minute or two until pressure is gone. Carefully open lid (there will still be some steam) and set aside. Using wooden or metal stirring spoon, stir well, being careful not to splash on yourself, mashing eggplant chunks against side of pan. Stir in turmeric and cilantro. Taste for salt and add as needed.

Serve with flat bread or rice.

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