I cook better than I write

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eggplant curry

As promised, here is a food-related post.

On Sunday I decided to cook a veganised version of the "Eggplant and Parsnip curry" from the "Vegetarian; the best-ever recipe collection" by Linda Fraser. I modified the recipe by substituting parsnip for sweet potatoes and changing the amount of some ingredients.

Here is the "modified" vegan version of the recipe which was SO tasty:

Eggplant and Sweet Potatoes Curry
1 large eggplant, diced
2 medium size sweet potatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper
3 onions
4 garlic cloves
1/2inch piece of ginger
4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups of white basmati rice (you can use the brown variety, but adjust the cooking time)
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 block of soft tofu
~3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp chili powder
3 oz of sultana raisins
6 oz of cashew nuts (the original recipe calls for unslated ones, but I was using salted ones by mistake - there was no taste difference)
1/2 cup of vegan "butter"
Cilantro to garnish

Cover rice with cold water and let stand for 35-40 minutes.

Sprinkle eggplant with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off.

Process 1 onion, garlic, and ginger in the food processor until minced. Add 2 or 3 tbs of water and process some more to make a paste.
Sllice red pepper and 2 remaining onions.

Prepare 1 cup of "yogurt". If you have your favorite recipe - use it. I just passed the soft tofu in the blender and mixed in some apple cider vinegar to get the sour taste.

In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Fry onions for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat until golden. Set aside

In the same skillet fry 4oz of cashew nuts for 4-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Add raisins and fry for 2-3 minutes until they puff (I did not wait for raisins to puff). Set aside.

Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet and fry potatoes for 5 minutes. Set aside. Fry eggplant, together with red pepper and remaining cashews for 5 minutes. Drain on the paper towel

Add oil and fry the onion-ginger-garlic paste until it turns golden. Add spices (cumin, coriander, chili) and fry for another minute. Add yogurt and slowly bring the mix to boil, add the vegetables (eggplant, pepper, potatoes) and the broth. Bring to boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile cook the rice in 2 cups of water for 5-6 minutes, until slightly undercooked.

Pour the vegetable mixture in the oven-proof pan. Add rice on top. Scatter fried onions on top of the rice and sprinkle with raisins/nuts mix. Dot with butter. Close with the double layer of aluminum foil and a cover.

Preheat the oven to 300F
Place the dish in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
Serve garnished with cilantro springs.

The taste of this curry is quite delicate and balanced. It tastes as good on the second day.

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