16 December 2014

Eggplant-Curry Sauce with chick peas and cauliflower

With a clever technique stolen from traditional Indian Baingan Bhurta, this recipe uses blended, roasted eggplant to thicken a coconut-based curry sauce.  The list of ingredients may look long, but once you invest in these spices, you'll want to use them all the time.  And most importantly, this dish is a comforting, exciting feast while you're waiting for the next big holiday meal as an excuse to pig out.

Eggplant-Curry Sauce with chick peas and cauliflower

Serves 6

1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
½ yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
1 cup frozen peas
1 can (15 oz.) chick peas
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Basmati rice for serving

Heat the oven to 380°F.  Toss the eggplant with a little bit of oil and salt and spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast until soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds and toast until seeds begin to pop (4-5 minutes).  Add curry powder, garam masala, cayenne, black pepper, salt, tomatoes, cauliflower, and peas.  Stir to combine, reduce to low heat, and cover; allow to gently simmer while you wait for the eggplant to be done.

When eggplant is done, combine in a blender with the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and lemon juice. Blend until chunky-smooth, and stir into the skillet along with the chick peas.  Heat through, season with more salt and the black pepper, and sprinkle the cilantro on top. Serve over rice.