sharing recipes from one generation to the next
It’s lucky that the only produce in the fridge left to use the night before our weekly trip to the Farmers Market was a few over ripe tomatoes and a couple of wrinkled eggplants because I might not have tried this simple tasty dish otherwise.
Usually when I have limited ingredients I make a curry, but this time, with these ingredients, I just couldn’t bring an idea to fruition so I searched “Eat Your Books,” a website I use that creates an index of all the recipes in the cookbooks on your kitchen shelf.
The result was a long list of recipes using eggplants and tomatoes, although most also needed a pantry full of ingredients that I didn’t have to hand. I seriously considered rice stuffed eggplants, but with curry on my mind, I kept scrolling. On the 10th page of the search results, this recipe caught my eye. It’s from “Fresh India” by Meera Sodha, a book I confess to under utilising.
Meera Sodha is young English woman of Indian heritage. She has written a couple of cookbooks based on family favourites, vegetarian recipes her mother adapted and created using traditional Gujarati know how within the confines of what was available to her in rural England.
In “Fresh India,” her second book, Meera has taken the recipes a step further and applied savvy use of modern techniques with an eye to current food fashion. Sodha’s food is distinctly Indian but also light, fresh and modern.
I only made a few minor changes to the original recipe to bring it into line with my tummy friendly diet. This is my version of Sesame and Tamarind Eggplants from “Fresh India” by Meera Sodha.
Sesame and Tamarind Eggplants serves 4 as an accompaniment
3 ripe roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
2 medium eggplants, about 600g, cut into 2cm X 6cm batons
generous pinch of asafoetida (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
extra sea salt to taste
fresh coriander leaves roughly chopped
thick natural yoghurt
Put the tomatoes, sesame seeds, tamarind, spices and salt into the food processor and blend into a loose paste. Set aside
Heat the oils in a large lidded frypan add the eggplants and sprinkle over the asafoetida then saute the eggplants until well coloured.
Add the paste and 1/2 cup water to the pan.
Stir the sauce through the eggplants then cover and cook on a high simmer until the eggplants are soft, about 10 minutes, adding a little extra water to prevent the vegetables sticking.
Taste and adjust the seasonings to suit your palate.
Scatter with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Serve with steamed millet and a large dollop of thick natural yoghurt