This is one of my favorite Indian vegetarian dishes, so this recipe called to me as I perused my latest purchase from Green Apple books en route home to Los Angeles from San Francisco on Monday morning. I will make this again. The only glitch was that I couldn't find fenugreek. Bristol Farms told me to go to Whole Foods, and Whole Foods referred me to Bristol Farms, but it wasn't to be found at either place. I was looking for the leaves specifically--it seems they are ALSO known as "kasuri methi." I think I need to find a good Indian grocery store.
Here's the recipe:
3 medium eggplants
8-9 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 canned tomato puree
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Place them cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until soft. Cool the eggplants, remove as many seeds as you can, and scoop the pulp from the skin, squeezing out excess liquid. Chop the eggplant into 1-inch pieces
2. Heat the remaining 5-6 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion and cumin seeds until the onion is soft and translucent, just a few minutes
3. Add cayenne pepper, turmeric, ground cumin and garam masala to the skillet and stir quickly to blend everything. Then add the chopped eggplant, fenugreek leaves and salt. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
4. Just before serving, add the cream and heat, then stir in 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and the green peas. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro and serve over rice.
1. You might wonder, as I did, how all of the items in steps 2 and 3 could fit into a "small" skillet. I decided not to do this the hard way, and used a 10-inch skillet.