Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eggplant & Green Pea Curry

My husband and I enjoy Indian food way more than our boys, so it's nice to be able to make it at home when we get a craving.

This curry is healthy, gluten-free and full of flavor – and it uses one of my favorite vegetables: eggplant. (See my recipes for Baba Ghannouj and Grilled Eggplant Salad.)

The dish is a spin-off of a recipe from one of my go-to cookbooks: Indian-Inspired Gluten-Free Cooking. It works well as a side or a main course.

You can make this meal spicier if you prefer, but I like it mild. I often cook the eggplant in advance so that when I prep the entire meal the main ingredient is ready to go.

Mangia! Mangia!

Eggplant & Green Pea Curry

2 medium eggplants
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (Indian spice blend)
3/4 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Spray with cooking spray or rub on all sides with some oil. Place eggplants cut side down on prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until eggplants look shriveled and are very soft all the way through. Remove from oven and let cool.

When cooled, remove pulp from skin and mash in a bowl. (You can either peel the skin away from the pulp or scoop the flesh out.) Set aside. If preparing in advance, place mashed eggplant in a covered container and store in refrigerator.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until seeds become almost dark brown.

Add onion, tomato, garlic and ginger and cook while stirring for 2 minutes.

Add turmeric, coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, salt and cayenne pepper if using. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.

Add eggplant and peas. Stir to combine. Cover pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with rice.

P.S. The last time I made this eggplant curry I paired it with chicken in yellow curry sauce. I tried Kroger's Indian Inspirations Yellow Curry Sauce and it was surprisingly delicious! I recommend giving it a try.

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