I had a pile of Japanese eggplants from our CSA that were supposed to go into a Thai duck curry, but the duck leftovers disappeared. This looked like a good vegetarian/vegan way to use up those lovely eggplants. Serves 6:
Eggplant and Tomato Curry
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2″ piece of ginger
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 handful fresh curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons chunky peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 12 small (Japanese) eggplants about 1 ½ pounds (see my verdict below for using regular eggplants)
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ pound mixed color cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 375º. Peel the onion, garlic and ginger, place in a food processor with the cilantro stalks and jalapeno and process to a fine paste. Put the spices and curry leaves into a medium ovenproof pan on a low heat with 2 tablespoons of oil and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the ginger paste and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the peanut butter, mango chutney and tamarind paste, season with salt and pepper. Put aside in a medium bowl.
Leaving them intact at the stalk, cut the eggplants into quarters lengthways. Rub and stuff them generously with all the paste, then arrange them in the pan.
Place the pan on medium heat and fry for 5 minutes, turning the eggplants halfway. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, season well with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil.
Cover with tin foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, removing the foil halfway. Season to taste, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!
Hot, very hot! I used one small jalapeno and it was killer hot. A little mango chutney on the side and some basmati rice helped, but it was still pretty hot. For future, I’d go easy on the jalapeno and add more in if needed. Once the heat was sort of tamed, these were really good. I thought the cherry tomatoes looked a little lame, so got some Campari tomatoes, quartered them and used them instead.
Although my spice list goes to 120 items on an Excel spreadsheet, surprisingly fenugreek seeds were not on it, so they didn’t go in the curry. Not sure how that affects the final product, but now I’ve got some.
If you’re using regular eggplants, cut them into 1/2″ rounds and sandwich the paste between them.