Quick. Easy. Healthy. Cheap. Tasty. It’s rare that all five of those descriptors find their way into one meal, and I’m happy to report that this one does the trick. It does require a few unique ingredients, but we had most of them on hand already – so, yay!
This will definitely be a regular recipe for us on weeknights. So many great things about it! It really does have a nice spice, a bit of sweetness (maybe a bit too much – next time I might reduce the sugar a wee bit), and the sourness is a really nice touch. A truly great blend of flavours for an interesting dish worth making again.
Recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 tablespoon peeled & grated ginger
- 2 hot fresh chilies, seeded and minced (or use a nice helping of hot pepper flakes if that’s all you have)
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves, or a few dried (we used about 6 dried)
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, with about 2 cups of cooking liquid (we used two cans of chickpeas + liquid, with about 1 cup of chickpeas reserved for later uses).
- 1 tablespoon Sambar Powder or curry powder (yeah, we used curry powder)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Pinch of asafetida (optional – which we opted out of, since we couldn’t find it anywhere)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime juice to taste (we used lime juice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Chopped roasted peanuts (for garnish)
- Heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add ginger, chiles, and curry leaves. Stir and cook about a minute more.
- Add the chickpeas with liquid, curry, turmeric, brown sugar, asafetia if you’re using, and lime juice/tamarind. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened and eggplant is tender. Taste and add more of whatever to taste (I added more lime juice).
- Garnish with cilantro and peanuts as you serve.
We served it over white rice.