You can use either Chinese or Japanese eggplants. Both varieties have purple skin, along, slender shape, and small seeds. Good served with steamed basmati or jasmine rice. The recipe comes from Gourmet Magazine.
Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a colander set over a bowl, then let drain 30 minutes; Rinse eggplant, then drain, pressing gently on eggplant to extract any excess liquid.
While eggplant drains, mash garlic, ginger, and jalapeno to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt, using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large heavey knife and transfer to a cup), Then stir in mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric.
Heat oil in a 5-quart heavy pot, over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add spice paste and cinnamon stick, then reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add eggplant and cook, stirring until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes; Stir in water, brown sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender, BUT NOT falling apart, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Season eggplant with more salt IF needed, discard cinnamon stick and serve eggplant sprinkled with cilantro and cashews.