Have I mentioned before the warming spiced dishes of India are my favorite cuisine? Well, it is. What’s yours, by the way? I often find myself contemplating what my readers are like and what their food habits are… No, I’m not a budding stalker, but rather I’d like to know more about the food you like and what makes you tick in the kitchen. Since I spend a great deal of time talking about the food I like, it’s only fair I get to see your collective perspectives too. So, pony up and tell me what you like to eat! Favorite cuisine, favorite vegetable (cooked? raw?), favorite snack on a stick… you name it!
While I can’t think of a favorite snack on a stick at the moment (chocolate covered grasshoppers – no!), but I do immediately know my favorite cooked vegetable. Eggplant. I could eat eggplant a million different ways and never get tired of it. My absolute favorite preparation is eggplant parmesan, for which I’ve offered a great recipe in the archives. But there are a few Indian dishes that use eggplant that could easily topple my champion from its podium, given just the right blend of spices.
Until I had 5 Spices, 50 Dishes in my possession, I had a hard time replicating the amazing food I had in Indian restaurants, including the eggplant ones. Now, thanks to this recipe for Spicy Eggplant with Tomatoes in particular, I’m ready to give my homemade eggplant parmesan a run for its money. This time was my first attempt at this deliciously spicy and sweet (from the tomatoes) dish – very good, but not perfect just yet. With a few tweaks to the spice increments, I know I’ll be in heaven. As with all the recipes form Ruta’s book, this one is fast and simple: perfect for weeknight dinners.
Good thing I’ve got a steady supply of “Black Beauty” and “Little Fingers” eggplants coming in from my garden. If you’re a fellow eggplant enthusiast like me, you’ll be pleased to know there’s also a steady supply of eggplant recipes coming out of the SFTF kitchen at the moment. While you wait for those, don’t forget to tell me about your favorites…
Spicy Eggplant with Tomatoes
Taken from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes
1 large Italian eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 T. canola or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 t. finely grated garlic
1 t. finely grated fresh ginger
1 t. ground turmeric
½ t. cayenne
1 t. ground cumin
1 ½ C. chopped fresh tomato
1 ½ t. salt
1 t. sugar
* The amount of spices listed gives this a medium amount of heat. Increase or decrease the cayenne pepper for varying degrees of spiciness.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Sautee the onion until softened, about five minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Continue to sautee for another 2 mintues. If the mixture begins to stick to the pan, deglaze with a tablespoon of water and scrape the bottom with the spatula.
Add the eggplant, tomatoes, salt and sugar. Toss until the eggplant is well-coated with the spices. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the eggplant is soft but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Serve warm over couscous or rice.