Eggplant and potato make for a fantastic combo in this easy, slow-cooked curry recipe, inspired by Indian Aloo Baingan. Naturally suitable for vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free diets. Serves 4-6.
500gpotatoes waxy,peeled and cut into 2-3cm pieces, cooking water reserved
4tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil,divided
1teaspoonblack mustard seeds
2small finely diced onions
1tablespoonfresh peeled and grated ginger
1/4-1/2teaspoonchili flakes,depending on how much heat you like
2small eggplants,peeled and cut into 2-3cm pieces (ca. 500 g)
2medium vine-ripened tomatoes,chopped
1teaspoonpure maple syrup
1x 200 ml can organic coconut milk
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper,to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves,to garnish
1lime,cut into wedges
Rice or grain of choice
Alternatively roti, naan or chapati
Place the prepared potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water add a pinch of salt and then bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or fork tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large deep skillet (or wok) with 2 tablespoons of oil, over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, sauté for 2-3 minute, or until seeds pop a little. Then add the onion, garlic, ginger and rest of spices (garam masala, coriander, turmeric, smoked paprika, chili flakes). Sauté until the onion has softened (5-7 minutes).
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the cubed eggplant. Stir to coat the eggplant in the spices and then fry, increasing heat slightly, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. About 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and chopped tomato. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Finally, add the cooked potato, along with the maple syrup and water 250-375 ml of cooking water. Season with salt and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook at a light simmer for 15-20 minutes, until eggplant is cooked (soft). Taste, season with pepper and add more salt, if desired.
Serve scattered with cilantro leaves and fresh lime wedges for squeezing over the curry. Enjoy!
I reserve the water used to cook the potatoes, as it has plenty of starchy goodness and other nutrients in it from the potatoes.
Since this eggplant potato curry recipe curry is slow-cooked (1 hour) this gives plenty of time to prepare whole grain rice which can take up to 40 minutes or longer to cook. Or maybe you want to prepare homemade chapatis!
Black mustard seeds are a common ingredient in Indian cooking. They sweeten and becomes milder when toasted or fried and the heat gives them a nutty character. I get mine in at a local spice shop, or the spice stand at the weekly farmers market. Otherwise, they can be purchased online.