Saturday, December 21, 2013

Eggplant Methi

The smell of frying onions with mustard seeds and fenugreek leaves is insanely wonderful. That alone made this recipe worth it.

Despite chopping it into what I thought were small pieces, I struggled to get my eggplant cooked, and I definitely couldn't get the breading to stick. In the end I think it turned out okay, as I simmered the final product longer (adding water as needed) until the eggplant was soft enough.

Since the chickpea flour was ultimately just a general thickener rather than breading, I threw in some ground cashews left over from the greens soup recipe as well. I ate this with white basmati rice (with cumin, mustard, and fennel seeds, and turmeric) and with greens-ginger-miso soup.

Eggplant Methi
(from holy cow!)

8 small eggplants, stem removed, then halved lengthwise and quartered. Each eggplant will yield eight pieces. If your eggplants are on the larger side, you may want to cut them into smaller pieces.
2 tbsp besan or garbanzo bean four
1/4 tsp cayenne
A pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp mango powder or aamchoor
Salt to taste
1 tsp vegetable oil
water if needed to help the besan stick to the eggplants.
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 small bunch methi or fenugreek leaves, tough stems and roots removed, leaves chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
1-inch knob of ginger, grated
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garam masala

1. Place the eggplant pieces coated with the besan mixture under a broiler for about 10-15 minutes or until the eggplants are tender. Toss every few minutes with a ladle to ensure all sides cook evenly. Keep an eye on the eggplants when they are under the broiler because they can burn fast. Once they are cooked, set aside.
2. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the onions, ginger, garlic, and curry leaves. Saute, stirring frequently, until brown spots appear on the onions. If the ginger and garlic stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little water.
3. Add the cumin and coriander powders, cayenne, and the garam masala. Saute for a minute, then add the methi leaves and salt. Saute the methi on medium-low heat until it starts to tenderize.
4. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water. Mix thoroughly, cover, and let the mixture cook for about 8 minutes or until the methi is cooked and tender.
5. Add the eggplants and stir them in. Cook for another two minutes, check for salt, then turn off the heat. Garnish, if you like, with some fresh coriander. Serve hot.**See notes above.

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