Wednesday, April 29, 2009

let me squeeze your plump aubergine flesh

Oh my god, I am some kind of genius. I just recreated the eggplant curry dish that I drool over in my favourite Indian restaurant.

I love the look of eggplants, they have got to be among the most beautiful vegetables in existence, but my only attempt at cooking them close to 20 years ago was an unmitigated disaster. However, they had the most stunningly gorgeous eggplants in the grocery store this week and I simply had to buy a couple, although I didn't have a clue what to do with them.

So I scoured the internet and discovered that some people say you must peel them, some people say you mustn't, and still others suggest that you peel stripes off them to make them look edgy. I opted for the third suggestion, as I like my vegetables with a bit of edge to them.

Here's what I did:
- sliced 1 onion

- chopped about 6 or 7 cloves garlic
- added to a hot frying pan with a generous spash of oil, added a sliced tomato, some ginger, cumin, and a bit of dry mustard, and browned everything up a bit
- added a couple of healthy spoonfuls of Patak's hot curry paste and Patak's hot lime pickle, and a wee bit of powdered chicken bouillon.
- did the fancy striped peeling thing on the eggplants, quartered lengthwise and scooped out
the seediest part (I don't know if this part was necessary, but it seemed like a good idea at the time)
- sliced into 1/4 inch chunks and mixed into the onion/curry mixture
_ covered and cooked for about 10 minutes until the eggplant was soft and translucent, adding a bit of water if it started to stick.

I just served this as a side vegetable dish, with chicken breasts and whatever, but with a bit of naan and maybe some aloo gobi, you could sure build a meal around this.

This could not have been easier, and I will never be afraid of eggplant again.


mister anchovy said...

wow, excellent!

Wandering Coyote said...

Looks good, but I really can't do eggplant...

Dale said...

I want some! Like right now! They are the best damned looking vegetables ever, you're right.

Bubs said...

Mmmmm...tasty. Now I'm hungry for baba ghanoush

justrun said...

And you didn't call ME?

I'm not sure I can get past this.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Sounds great. Save me some.

kelly said...


sounds like a good dish...reminds me to re-make my grilled veggie sandwiches which have eggplant in them

bloody awful poetry said...

Ooo that looks good! Indian food is awesome, y'know. But my actually being Indian sometimes takes the novelty off it, having to eat it at least once every day of my life. You should so come over here though! My mom cooks most awesomely.

And yes, aubergines, they are gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

I grew some last summer but left it on the vine too long. No matter I enjoyed watching it grow.

Remi said...

Nice, if humbling. Yesterday I made a pasta sauce from scratch for the first time and that's about as involved as I get in the kitchen.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It was so good, Mr Anchovy, with lots of leftovers for tonight.

Really? That's such a shame. Is it a texture issue, Wandering Coyote?

They are like the plastic surgeried-celebs among vegetables, Dale.

I love baba ghanoush, Bubs! So sinful, so good.

I hope we can put this oversight behind us and be besty friends again over time, Justrun.

I did, Dr M. There's a tonne of it here that you can help me plow through at dinner tonight.

Remind me to ask you for that recipe, Kelly. Do you grill the veggies or the sandwich or both?

I guess the novelty might wear off after a lifetime of eating Indian food daily, BAP. But regardless, I am packing my bags and coming to hang with you and your awesome mom.

How charming. I don't think I have ever seen them growing, Leazwell. Do the vines get massive, like zucchini or pumpkins?

Pasta sauce from scratch is no small feat, Remi, don't undersell yourself. Especially with some pretty decent canned and bottles sauces now available. Good job!

Wandering Coyote said...

Yeah, mainly a texture issue. Also a bit of a flavour issue.

Jas Bhambra said...

Oh barb it sounds delicious...its making my mouth water!

Allison said...

I've never really taken to curry, but I do love some good eggplant. They are a very sexy veggie. Its because they are shiny and shiny things are pretty. Fact. ;)

justacoolcat said...

Yum! We eat a lot of eggplant dishes.

" love the look of eggplants, they have got to be among the most beautiful vegetables in existence"

I set that to some funk music and ... well you get the idea.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I guess there's no getting around the texture part, Wandering Coyote, but with enough garlic, you'll never taste the eggplanty part.

Have you ever made a similar dish, Jas? I'm sure you must be familiar with it.

They're shiny and purple and soft, but not too soft, definitely a sexy kinda veg, Al.
But what's this? Not a curry fan? What about all that curried lentil soup?

You do the funky eggplant dance, JustA? Why am I not at all surprised?

umbrellalady said...

Barb - we are all nuts about eggplant here -when you come out this summer Bruno will barbecue some for you - absolutely delicious!! if it is too cold out (god forbid) I will bake it for you - my mouth is already watering. We are putting eggplant plants in the garden again this year - they seem to grow remarkably well here in Brandon.

Westcoast Walker said...

I am glad you overcame your eggplant apprehension and created what seems to be a masterpiece. You are one talented Zombie!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

SOunds great, Kathy! I wonder if we will be able to have a successful eggplant plantation at Waco 2.0.

You should hear me play spoons, Westcoast Walker! You'd be amazed. Or at least amused.

kelly said...

ask me for the recipe sometime

John Mutford said...

The recipe sounds good, but not as good as your post title would suggest.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for the reminder, Kelly. You do come by your nickname, Kelly the smartass, quite honestly. don't you?

Oh but you weren't here, John. There was much squeezing of plump aubergine flesh happening.

mishellorama said...

I want to like eggplant so bad but it always turns out mushy. I salt the slices, compress them under massive weight, I think I do everything I'm supposed to do but it always ends up like really nasty baby food.

They're the perfect color of purple, aren't they? Divinely glossy smooth skin, firm to the touch...

I must go have a minute to myself now.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know eggplants would grow in Manitoba...shall try this summer.
Your dish sounded so yummy, Barb!

Todd said...

I will have to try this out. I hate eggplant. Almost every way that I have it, I hate it - Except for this one time at an Indian restaurant.

I will have to give this recipe a go and then you, my friend, will be hearing back from me. :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

haha Michelle!
The only other time I tried cooking eggplant - the unmitigated disaster time - I did the salting thing too, and it didn't work for me. No such shenanigans required for this dish, and they are still soft, but so tasty with curry that one does not care.

According to Kathy, you can, Berni. I'll bet they look pretty in the garden as well.

I await your report with a mixture of fear and anticipation, Todd! But it might just be the right eggplant recipe for you.

Gifted Typist said...

OMG, that looks good. We just had a big curry party here the other night. That would have made a fabby addition. Why didn't I see it?

And I am with you: eggplants are the artistic veg with their lovely curvaceous lines, rich purple colour and smooth texture. I always find them hard to cut at first, but I get over that because they are so good to eat.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You likely didn't see this as you were busy battling brush fires, my dear Gifted. Do try this at the next curry party and don't forget to send my invitation early.

Voices in My Head said...

I have been following your blog for awhile now- always great fun to read. Needed to share that I have made your Eggplant twice now- with fantastic results! Thank you so much,
Nancy Close
Sage Theatre board member

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh you are a brave woman, Nancy! But I am so glad that the recipe turned out so well for you and thanks for letting me know about it.

I hope to see you at the Folk Festival this summer. Perhaps we can share some shade again!