Friday, November 18, 2016

Eggplant Fry

When in India one should cook some Indian foods! The bhajiwala or vegetable vendor's stand is a vegetarians delight! My bag is soon filled with karela, gawaar and these small purple and white streaked small eggplants. So today's lunch is fish curry rice, papad, masala okra and an eggplant fry. Pam has enjoyed her 'Continental cuisine' as she calls it. So this make a tasty change. The fish curry is an adaptation of prawn kalvan. I use a delicious pomfret in place of the shrimp. Masala okra is easy to fry. But the last vegetable confounds me.

I halve small eggplants without a recipe in mind. Once they are cut, I am seized with indecision. My options are limited so I start with a hastily put together paste of turmeric, chile powder, cumin and coriander powders. A little water and oil allows the paste to adhere to the eggplants easily. It also helps that I cut a cross hatch pattern with the tip of my knife into the surface of each eggplant, so the paste seeps in. Curry leaves, garlic and mustard seeds go into the pan. The veggies go into the pan cut side down. A little water is poured into the pan and a lid goes on. Steaming side by side with the fish a the most inviting aroma emanates. Pam calls these small lemon sized veggies brinjals. We watch a Brit food show on aubergines. A vegetable by any other name........

Serves 3-4

6-8 small Eggplants
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1-2 teaspoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Cumin powder 
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
3-4 tablespoons Water
1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons Canola Oil 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
3 Garlic cloves
6-7 Curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt 

Wash and cut each eggplant in half, keeping the stems intact. 

Mix turmeric, chile, cumin and coriander powders in a bowl. 

Add water and 1 teaspoon oil to powders and mix to form a thick paste.

Score the surface of the eggplants with the tip of a knife, in a cross hatch pattern.

Spread the paste on the cut surfaces of eggplants.

Heat remaining oil in a saucepan, big enough to fit eggplants in one layer.

When hot splutter mustard seeds, garlic cloves and curry leaves.

Place the eggplants cut side down in the pan.

Add 1/2 cup water to pan along with the salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. 

Remove the lid and let water dry.

Fry eggplants for a few minutes to get a little color and serve.

There's nothing like a good fish curry rice papad and a frosted glass of beer. The okra and eggplant augment meal. Lunch segues into afternoon naps. Eggplant by any name is delicious all the same!

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