Eggplant is used extensively in Asian and Indian cooking, and really comes into it's own in these cuisines, primarily because of the way a clever use of spices can so unexpectedly enhance this vegetable.
This is a lightly spiced Indian-style eggplant recipe that shies away from the heavier tomato-based Indian eggplant dishes that are so common. Instead, it only provides a suggestion of spiciness - allowing the flavour of the eggplant to shine through.
2 medium-sized thin eggplant, thinly sliced in 2 inch lengths
1 small onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 curry leaves
2 - 3 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp masala powder
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
salt to taste
Slice the eggplant and cover in water to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
Heat oil and place the curry leaves in the hot oil for only one or two seconds before adding the dry spices and the onions straight after.
Turn the heat to medium and fry the onions for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the garlic and fry for a further minute, ensuring not to brown the garlic.
Drain the eggplant and add to the pan with a tablespoon of water.
Turn the heat up and fry the eggplant, stirring constantly and adding water a tablespoon at a time. You want to avoid the eggplant simply submerging in water. Add the chili powder.
Continue to stir fry until the eggplant is completely soft. If the consistency is a little mushy, that is fine as that is also an indication that the eggplant is mostly cooked.
Add salt to taste and serve with rice and other spicy Asian or Indian dishes. Chopped fresh coriander works very well as a garnish for this dish.