Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eggplant Chickpea Curry

Eggplant and legume are such good friends, they've already been together in stews on my blog three times.  Each one has had different flavors (cumin, za'atar, fennel, nutmeg, lemon, pomegranate molasses) and different add-ins (tomato, kale, cilantro), and Isa's Eggplant and Black Eyed Pea Curry is yet another variation.  I made it very spicy and used chickpeas instead of blackeyed peas, but otherwise, I made the recipe as it was.  It doesn't look like much, but the velvety texture of the eggplant counteracts the more grainy texture of the chickpeas.  Lemon, fennel, and curry powder make for an interesting set of flavors as well.

Eggplant-Chickpea Curry

1 TB olive oil
1 large onion, diced medium
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping TB minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 TB spicy curry powder
1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 c red lentils
1/2 c brown or green lentils
1/2 c lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped (extra for garnish)
5 c vegetable broth
3 c cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 2 16 oz cans)
2 TB fresh lemon juice
2 TB tomato paste 

1. Preheat a 4-quart soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and saute for another minute.
2. Add the eggplant, curry powder, fennel seed, salt, pepper and cayenne along with a 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth to cook the eggplant down for a minute or two.
3. Add lentils, cilantro and remaining vegetable broth. Cover pot and bring to a boil, keeping a close eye. Once it’s boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and eggplant is soft. Add chickpeas to heat through, and stir in the tomato paste and lemon juice. If you’d like a thicker curry, then leave the lid off for the last 10 minutes. For thinner then just add a little extra broth. Taste for salt and seasoning.
4. Let sit for 10 minutes or so for maximum flavor. Serve garnished with cilantro if you like.  Serves 4-6.


And now, for some Jon's bounty:

1 comment:

janet @ the taste space said...

I've made this too. Rob thought it was bland with the curry powder as written, so I tripled it and then it was too spicy for me (good for him, though!). It made a ton of food, though!