from one generation to the next
It’s rare for me to make a recipe verbatim from a recipe book. I can’t help but tweak this and omit that depending on what I have on hand and how I feel on the day. My interpretation of Spicy Eggplants originally from “The Food of India” published by Murdoch Press hasn’t deviated much at all, a change in the form of chilli added and a major reduction in the volume of oil used, plus I roasted the coriander seed and ground it freshly to maximize the impact of its flavour. Spicy Eggplants were delicious with tandoori chicken, simple green beans curry, steamed basmati rice and homemade hot lime pickle.
500g finger eggplants (aubergines)
400g ripe tomatoes, chopped
3cm piece root ginger, grated
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon nigella seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon crushed red chillis
1 teaspoon salt
Cut the eggplants into 7cm lengths then cut each into four lengthways, so you have long skinny wedges. Salt the eggplants generously and leave to drain for ½ hour. Thoroughly rinse the eggplant wedges, squeeze out excess water and pat dry. Set aside.
In a hot pan dry roast the coriander seed then crush to a fine powder.
Heat the oil in large pan and cook the eggplants in a single layer until well browned. Remove to a strainer and allow the excess all to drain off.
To the oily residual in the hot pan, add the fennel seed and nigella, fry for a couple of minutes then add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilli and ground spices. Cook for about 5 minutes until you have a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the drained eggplants to the sauce and reheat gently so the eggplants retain their shape. Serves 4