Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eggplant and Mushroom Curry

This is very similar to the Eggplant Masala we made recently, this one uses cumin seeds instead of black mustard seeds, does not have tamarind, and adds tomatoes. Still, it turned out fairly tasty, probably even better than the eggplant masala. You can use any kind of mushroom here, likely button mushrooms work best, but we had some King mushrooms left over. It is interesting how the slow addition of water to the onion spices mixture transforms it into a paste; each tablespoon of water bubbles up with the heat of the pan.

Eggplant and Mushroom Curry
adapted from a recipe from Six Spices by Neeta Saluja
6 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
8 ounces sliced King mushrooms
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

In a medium-size pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add sliced mushrooms and eggplant. Stir-fry until vegetables start to turn brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat remaining oil in the same pan. When hot, add cumin seeds and stir for a few seconds. Add onions and garlic. Cook until they become soft, stirring often to prevent burning.

Stir turmeric, chili and coriander powders into the onions and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of water at a time until all the water is used up and spices form a smooth paste.

Add mushrooms, eggplant and salt. Stir well with the spices. Cover, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot.

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