This is one of my favorite mild curries, and also one of the most convenient. If you have the time to prepare the eggplants ahead of time, it will come together very, very quickly. If you have time to prepare the whole dish ahead of time, it will taste even better. It always tastes better in my lunch the next day, but usually I don’t have the patience to wait when I first make it.
I’ve prepared it before by broiling the eggplants when I didn’t do the roasting ahead of time: it was definitely edible, but didn’t have the same flavor at all. Roasting the eggplants slowly gives them a creamier texture and removes any bitterness that the larger American varieties sometimes have.
Since most Indian eggplant/aubergine recipes that I’ve found often call for the smaller asian varieties, this recipe is more economical as well. When I see eggplants in the “cook me now” discount rack at our local fruit markets, I usually check for mushrooms and plan to make this curry – which makes it probably cost about $3-5 for the whole dish.
Eggplant Mushroom Curry
- 2 large aubergines (approx. 1 lb. each)
- 4 oz. / 1 1/2 cups white mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and wrap each eggplant in foil, sealing edges well, and bake for 1 hour or until soft. Unwrap and leave to cool. (This can definitely be done ahead)
- This cooks in quick steps, so you’ll want to have everything measured and prepared before you turn on the oven. Cut each of the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash roughly with a fork or chop if its still too firm for that. Set aside. Cut mushrooms in half or quarters, if large, and set aside. Measure the remaining ingredients – green onions to chili together, ground spices in a separate dish, tomatoes and eggplant by themselves.
- Heat oil in heavy pan and fry mustard seeds for 2 minutes until they begin to sputter – if they sputter right away, turn down the heat a bit. Add the green onions, mushrooms, garlic, and chili and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground spices and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer another 5 minutes, to blend the flavors.
- Mix the prepared eggplant into the sauce with the chopped cilantro. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Serve with additional cilantro garnish.
I’m having an issue embedding the photo slideshow now, but you can view it online at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebarney/tags/tkt11310/show/