Cauliflower, eggplant and green bean #curry #mixedveg

A nice vegetable curry is delicious just with some dhal and rice or alongside other curries or grilled meat.

The combination of cauliflower, eggplant and green beans with the warmth of mild Indian spices is a tenure winner. I love eggplant and in this recipe I use the long, skinny variety cut in discs.

The onion mixture with dried red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves is a classic base for many a South Indian curry and you really can’t go wrong with any vegetable combination you add.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely diced
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 piece cinammon bark or quill
  • 1 teaspoon cummin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic pounded to a paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tomato diced finely
  • 2 Thai long eggplants
  • 1.5 cups cauliflower florets
  • Greens beans, top and tailed chopped into small pieces (about a cup’s worth)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

1. Heat oil in a flat, heavy based pan which has a lid, add cinammon, cummin seeds , fenugreek seeds, dried chillies and curry leaves and heat over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add onions and simmer gently until onions are transparent then add turmeric, cummin powder, mustard seeds and mix through.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and mix through, stir fry until tomatoes just start breaking down, add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture from sticking.

4. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.

5. While cauliflower is cooking, cut eggplant into discs and then add with green bean pieces to cauliflower mixture. After 5/minutes, Add in peas and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup of water to stop mixture sticking. Simmer for 5 minutes until eggplant is tender and going transparent but not mushy.

6. Taste to see if additional salt required. Garnish with coriander and serve with fluffy white rice or naan, or just as a delicious side dish with other dishes.

Fried eggplant and pea curry

This curry is delicious with grilled lamb, fish or chicken or as a main served with dhal, rice and roti for a vegetarian meal.

Frying the eggplant pieces before putting the curry together makes the eggplant melt like butter in your mouth.

Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:

1 large eggplant cut into cubes
1 onion diced finely
1 cup of frozen peas
1 tomato chopped into medium chunks
2 cloves garlic and same quantity of ginger pounded into a paste
Salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cummin powder
1 tsp cummin seeds
Handful of curry leaves
6-8 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Optional: 2-3 green chillies left whole but split down the middle (remove seeds for milder outcome)
½ cup of water
Handful of chopped coriander to garnish

Method:
Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for at least 30minutes. This allows draw some of the bitter juices from the eggplant rather than it all going into the curry sauce.


Drain eggplant and pat dry with paper towel before placing in a bowl. Add ½ teaspoon each of turmeric, chilli powder and cummin powder and mix well to coat.
Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat, then add eggplant in batches frying until golden on the outside but not overcooking. Drain eggplant on paper towel and set aside. Repeat until all your eggplant is fried. (The eggplant will absorb oil so you might need to add a tablespoon or so more to fry all the pieces.)

Once eggplant is all fried, wipe pan clean, then add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and heat. Add curry leaves and cummin seeds to the pan and heat through to flavour oil.

Add onion and cook until transparent, then add garlic and ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes. Then add tomato, and the rest of the powered spices (i.e ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp cummin powder), the green chillies if using and ¼ cup of water. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until tomato starts breaking up, adding more water if needed to prevent mixture from sticking to pan.


Add in eggplant pieces and peas and gently mix through the spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes until peas are cooked to your liking.
Remove from heat, garnish with coriander, serve and enjoy

Steamed Eggplant with ginger

This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to enjoy eggplant. You don’t often see recipes for steaming eggplant but I can attest to this recipe, especially if made with smaller eggplants such as “graffiti” striped eggplants or the thin Japanese eggplants.

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:
2-3 small eggplants
small knob of ginger thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic crushed with half a red chillI
2 teaspoons salt

Method:
Cut eggplant into medium size piece and immediately add salt and place in a colander or strainer over the sink for 15 minutes

Meanwhile slice ginger finely, seperately crush garlic and chilli

Remove eggplant from colander shaking off excess moisture and place in steaming basket, gently rub some of the garlic and chilli on each pice of eggplant using a teaspoon, then scatter over ginger.

image
Place eggplant in steamer and rub with garlic, chillies paste and scatter over ginger

steam for 30-40 minutes or until eggplant is tender to your liking

 

Roasted eggplant with cummin and yoghurt

This is a delicious accompaniment served with Indian curries but just as good with roast meats like the Pulled pork or served as a dip.

Roasting the eggplant first gives it a lovely texture and a smoky flavour and the cummin and mustard seeds add spice and crunch.

Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time:60 minutes
Ingredients
1 large eggplant
1/2 brown onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Handful curry leaves(optional)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Method
Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Prick eggplant deeply in a few spots on each side with a fork or small knife to allow steam to escape. (This is important to avoid eggplant explosion in oven!)
Roast eggplant for 45-50 minutes, rotating 3 or 4 times to allow for even cooking. Don’t worry if skin blackens or burns.
Remove eggplant from oven and place immediately in a plastic bag and tie/seal. Leave for 5-10 minutes. The steam created will loosen the skin as eggplant cools.

Roasted eggplant cooling in plastic bag
Roasted eggplant cooling in plastic bag

Remove eggplant from bag, cut off ends, then “peel” the skin off.

Peel skin off the roasted eggplant
Peel skin off the roasted eggplant

Chop/dice eggplant finely on large chopping board to save as much of the juices

Roasted eggplant, peeled and diced
Roasted eggplant, peeled and diced

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Add cummin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry until fragrant but take care not to burn
Add onions and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or so until transparent and slightly caramelised
Add diced eggplant and juices, cummin powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time
When eggplant and onion mixture is thoroughly “melded” and heated through, take off heat and add the yoghurt
Mix through while off the heat which stops yoghurt curdling, then return to medium heat and allow to reheat. (About 3 minutes)
Serves 4-6 as a side or dip