Nanna's eggplant curry
When we're together, there's always a request for Nanna's eggplant curry. It is an anomaly, not really fitting into any category for 'origin'. My mother took flavours from her Southeast Asian neighbours and created this sweet-sour chunky, yummy, saucy 'curry' that goes equally well with a roast veggies and cous cous salad, or an indian vegetarian meal with dahl and a simple raita.
We won't tell anyone you eat spoonfuls straight from the pot , Izzy .....
4 firm and large purple eggplants
2 red capsicums, de-seeded and chopped into large pieces
2 red tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
six cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 sprig fresh curry leaves if you have it
1 large onion, sliced
2 level tablespoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons cummin seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons chilli powder
5-6 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup of water
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying
-Chop up eggplants into pieces about finger length and double finger length in thickness.
-Mix the chopped eggplant with the turmeric and salt cover and set aside for a few minutes.
-Meanwhile, mix together the tamarind paste, the chilli powder, white vinegar, sugar and tomato paste with a cup of water. Set aside.
-Line two cookie sheets with baking paper, and arrange the eggplant pieces on them.
-Bake in a heated 180 degrees celsius oven until the pieces are crumpled and golden brown, but not burnt. Set aside too cool.
-Heat a heavy pan with two tablespoons of oil.
-Throw in the curry leaves and mustard seeds.
-When the seeds start to pop, add the cumin seeds, onion, ginger and garlic, and stir.
-Add the cooked eggplant pieces and the capsicum.
-Now add the prepared sauce and stir well.
-Add the chopped tomatoes, giving everything one last stir.
-Cover, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
-Adjust seasoning according to your taste: a splash more vinegar for sourness, more sugar for sweetness. And of course more chilli powder for heat.
-The end result should be a yummy, thick sauce. The eggplant should be very tender.