Friday, April 20, 2012

Eggplant Curry- Vegan

 I love eggplant.  I know that it's a vegetable that gets a hot and cold response from people like beets, brussel sprouts and okra.  I actually love all those vegetables.. why... well because my mother always curried them and curry makes everything taste wonderful.  Now this is cooked like a Sri Lankan curry, but it is not the traditional way you make eggplant curry in Sri Lanka. The traditional way is to deep fry the eggplant first and cook it down. I decided to make this much healthier by skipping that step and sauteing the eggplant in 2-3 tsp of oil instead. Well... it worked perfectly and came out delicious.  I actually think I like this way better...because I can eat more and not feel guilty. :)

1lb of fresh eggplant (I used Chinese eggplant) diced
12-15 curry leaves
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chilies sliced (seeded for less heat)
1/2 green bell pepper diced
2 fresno chilies or 1/2 red bell pepper diced  
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp of fennugreek seeds
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
Red chili powder (to taste)
1/2Tbs of curry powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp of vinegar (optional)
1cup of coconut milk

 Clean eggplant and cut it into a dice.  Heat 2-3 tsp of canola oil in a large pan and when oil is hot add diced eggplant. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the eggplant is tender and brown. Remove eggplant from pan and reserve until later. **A good non-stick pan is required**

 Add 1-2 tsp more canola oil into the same pan and add the onions, chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, sugar and salt.  Fry for a few minutes until onions begin to soften.  Then add the eggplant back into the pan and add the ground spices, red chili powder, turmeric and curry powder.  Saute ground spices for a 30 seconds.

Finally add vinegar and coconut milk. Bring curry to a simmer for 3-4 minutes and taste for seasoning (add salt as needed). The curry is done, serve with rice and desired curries.  Enjoy.

PS.. This is my 2nd version of this sauteed eggplant curry. I made one in the early days of the blog and although they look very similar, I did make this with some slightly different ingredients. If you check out the other post you will see I have put pictures from this photo shoot as the "glamor" shots there because I still cringe at my photo skills back then....using a flash and all. :) I'm still learning food photography and I still need a better camera... but I do use natural light now. :)

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