Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spicy Indian Eggplant

I was introduced to Indian eggplant, a miniature version of what we're used to here.  A cute little girl gave me one from her family's garden as we were walking through her village.  Later in the trip at one of the orphanages, we ate these mini eggplants cooked with tomatoes and an array of spices.  When I saw Indian eggplant at the grocery store, I figured it was worth a little experimentation in attempt to recreate the dish I so fondly remember.  And... its quite possible that I had to stifle a little squeal of excitement as to not look like a total nutcase to the other shoppers in the produce department.

Unfortunately, my results were disappointing.  I loved the eggplant dish in India so much because it was one of the few meals which did not burn my tongue and lips!  The version Laurel and I created this week burnt our tongues and throats, but with the help of a healthy dollop of yogurt was edible.  I accidentally added a whole serrano chili when I meant to add less than half.  To reduce the heat of this dish, simply leave out the serrano seeds or omit the chili garlic paste.
Spicy Indian Eggplant (adapted from All Recipes)
serves 4-6 as a side dish

2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
1 serrano chili diced, with seeds
2 cups chopped eggplant, Indian or another variety
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can petite diced tomato with sweet onion
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
plain yogurt for serving

Heat skillet over medium heat.
Pour oil into pan, allow to warm.
Add spices, ginger through chili garlic paste.
Once fragrant, add serrano, eggplant, and salt.
Let eggplant cook a bit then add fresh and canned tomatoes.
Simmer over medium heat until eggplant is soft.
Serve with yogurt (and chai of course).

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