Prep 40 mins
Cook 25 mins
This curry is an adaptation of a recipe I found posted on several different websites. When I first served this dish, people commented on its professional, restaurant-like quality. However, the original version called for a lot of butter, so I played with the ingredients and preparation until I found what worked best for me. Instead of steaming the eggplant cubes, you can sauté them in 1/4 cup of ghee until they turn golden, but I prefer this less fatty version.
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 1 1/2 centimeter cubes, with skin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander, freshly ground
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom, freshly ground
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 (796 ml) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (300 g) packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 3⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- 3⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Put eggplant cubes in colander over large bowl, sprinkle with kosher salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to sweat. Pat dry and remove excess salt with paper towels or clean dishcloth. (Careful, this juice stains!).
- Toast mustard seeds in a small dry non-stick pan over medium-low heat until they turn grey and begin to pop. Remove from heat and reserve in a small bowl.
- Place eggplant in a mid-sized steamer and cook for about 10 minutes, until eggplant is soft and tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and reserve.
- Heat canola oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until golden. Stir in garlic, ginger, and all other spices, being careful to avoid scorching.
- After 1 minute, add spinach and tomatoes. Raise heat to high and boil for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat down to low and simmer with lid on for 20 minutes to allow flavours to blend.
- Stir in reserved mustard seeds and eggplant. Once eggplant is hot, stir in yogurt and chopped cilantro. Remove from heat.
- Serve alone on a bed of rice, or with a beef curry and naan bread.
We served this curry as part of a dinner for a vegan friend of ours along with some whole wheat flat bread. We omitted the yogurt at the end, and added the spinach when it was still partially frozen due to time constraints, but otherwise followed the recipe. It has an enjoyable blend of flavours and textures - thanks for sharing such a gem!
This recipe was good although not exceptional. I made a few adaptations. For one, usually in Indian cooking the mustard seeds are cooked with the main food - not separately and added in the end â€“ nor are so many used. I used half the amount (1 Tbs.) which was itself a lot and cooked them in the oil until they started to pop. I then added the onion mixture and cooked till it was a light brown before adding the spinach (I used 1 head of fresh chopped spinach) and fresh cut tomatoes. I cooked this for about 10-15 minutes before adding the steamed eggplant and then cooked the eggplant in the spice mix for some time to absorb the flavors. I also added a little Indian style raw sugar (jaggery) which was nice.
Really good spice blend. Was nervous about 2 tbsp mustard seed but trusted the recipe and it's great! I recommend two things: add the spinach at the end with the eggplant to keep it's bright color (or even better use fresh spinach) and put the yogurt on top. Mine was a bit dry so I added 2-3 tbsp tomato sauce before simmering.