Spinach and Eggplant Curry

Excellent vegetarian main course – even if looks mushy.

The real challenge comes from the spinach – you need a lot of it, you need to clean it, remove as much water as possible and , in the end, you need a pot large enough to hold it before it becomes completely flat..  You need to find your own, most suitable way to address it.

The good thing is that you can prepare it ahead  of time and only heat the whole thing up just before serving (it takes maybe 10 minutes in a suitable large flat pot with a cover).

Serve 4-6 people, we recommend matching it with dal.

  • 1 small firm eggplant or 3 to 4 small Japanese eggplants, about 750g (1,5  pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoon black or yellow mustard seed
  • 6 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 large onion diced (about 1,5 cup)
  • 1/2 table teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic (3-4 large cloves)
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated, peeled ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large tomato (02 2 smaller), peeled seeded, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • some chicken broth or water (around 1 cup worth)
  • 2 bunches, approximate 0,5 kg (about 20 ounces) fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and, if needed, cut into smaller pieces

First the eggplant:

  1. wash and cut the eggplant into small cubes or rings
  2. toss in a colander with coarse salt, let drain for about 20 minutes (put a heavy plate over it..?)
  3. measure mustard seeds into a dry small frying pan and toast them until they start popping and the aroma comes out. Set aside
  4. when the eggplant has been draining for at least 20 minutes, dry it carefully over the paper towel
  5. melt 2/3 of the butter until hot, drop the eggplant into it tossing and turning until golden brown
  6. transfer to a bowl and toss with mustard seeds
  7. Put it aside – it will be needed only at the very end or the process

Prepare the sauce

  1. heat up remaining butter over moderate heat in a large heavy pan
  2. stir in onion and salt and sauté until golden brown
  3. add garlic and ginger, cook for a few seconds
  4. add cumin, coriander, cardamom, tumeric, cloves and cayenne pepper
  5. cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. add tomatoes, water (bit-by-bit, as much as needed only) and sugar
  7. bring the whole thing to boil

here the preparation  could stop – the curry can be cooled, covered and kept refrigerated; reheat when needed; if you are ready to go to finish, go !

Finish

  1. Make sure the sauce is boiling
  2. add spinach to boiling mixture, stir in the eggplant
  3. when eggplant hot, the dish is ready to serve

 

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