Wednesday, January 20, 2016

SpicyCoconut Curried Eggplant

Here's what my life is like some days. Write the weekly menu and head to the local grocery for as much as I can purchase there. Remember, I live in small-town USA, so my local guy doesn't really carry stuff like cardamom pods. He doesn't even have tofu on the shelf, and believe me, I've asked for it! Like more than a few times. I sincerely think that if he'd carry it, folks would buy it. Anyway, I try to support my local businesses, so that's where I begin my shopping, even if the eggplants are dented and a tiny bit withered.

Travel across town to the huge superstore for fresh ginger, tofu, coconut milk, and the elusive spice. But happy fortune, while scouring the spice rack for cardamom pods, I find harissa! Here in my little city! What??  Happy day!!  I'm all over harissa! (Well, I'm not really sure how to use it, but I will learn, believe me.)  

Back in the car (did I mention this all takes place in a slushy snow storm? I'm dressed like a snow-woman, hat, boots, puffy coat, etc The car's a filthy mess.) to the up-scale grocery for that last ingredient - cardamom pods. Success.

Drive home, unload bags from the car to the kitchen, pour a huge glass of wine, look over the recipe, and start chopping veg. What? Where's that can of coconut milk? Back to the car, searching every nook and cranny only to find that it had rolled out of its bag.

Same kinds of shopping days for you?

If you like SPICY, then you'll love this curry.

Here's what you need:
2 eggplants
1 T oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 t ground cardamom
2 T ground coriander
1 T red pepper flakes
4 whole cardamom pods
1/2 t black peppercorns
1/2 T turmeric
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans coconut milk

Here's what you do:
Dice the eggplant into 1-2  inch pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and bake on a lined baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes.

In a medium pot, sauté onions, garlic, ginger, ground cardamom, coriander, and red pepper flakes until the onions begin to soften. Don't brown anything.

Crush the black peppercorns and the cardamom pods in a mortar and add them, along with the remaining spices, to the onions.

Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and the eggplant to the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve over white rice. Goes well with a toasted Naan bread and roasted carrots. Consider serving something cool along side this dish: sliced cucumbers maybe?

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