Eggplant and Split Chick Pea Curry

We had this curry for dinner with basmati rice and cooling soy yogurt sauce. It was delicious, one of the best curries I’ve ever made. Toasting the spices and mixing my own curry paste must have been the secret of its taste.

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Curry paste:

  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon each: mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds (without pods)
  • 2 small stalks cinnamon
  • 2 fresh green chilies
  • 3 big cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

I toasted coconut on a dry frying pan until it was nicely browned. Then I toasted all the dry spices: mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, curry leaves, cardamom seeds, and cinnamon, until an exquisite scent appeared, after about 3 minutes. Then I ground all of the ingredients together, until a smooth paste resulted.

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Toasting spices and coconut.

Eggplant and Split Chick Pea Curry:

  • 1 small eggplant (350 g)
  • 1 onion, cubed
  • 2 dl chana dal (dried split chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 dl + 2 dl water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro (fresh coriander leaves), finely chopped

First, I cut the eggplant in cubes, drizzled with salt, and put in a colander. Then, I rinsed the chana dal, and let it soak in a bowl filled with cold water while I was doing other things.

Now, I heated a frying pan with the oil in it, and then fried the onion until browned. I now added the eggplants and fried them for a few minutes until they started to turn brown and get soft. Now, I moved onion and eggplant toward the sides of the frying pan, added the curry paste in the middle of the pan, and fried it for a few minutes.

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After frying the curry paste for a while, I rinsed the chana dal once again, and added that to the pan. Then I added a teaspoon of turmeric for color, and stirred the curry to cover chana dal and eggplant with the curry paste.

Now, I added 4 dl water, lowered the heat, covered the pan, and let it simmer for 40 minutes. Then I added the rest of the water and let the curry simmer until chana dal was soft, about 30 minutes.

Before serving, I mixed in the lemon juice, and sprinkled on the cilantro.

Cucumber Mint Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1,5 dl plain soy yogurt
  • 1 dl grated cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

I grated the cucumber, and squeezed it in my fist to get rid of some moisture. Then I mixed everything together and served immediately. For a mintier taste, I would refrigerate the yogurt sauce for an hour or so, and use fresh mint leaves if they are available.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 12, 2007 at 04:43 | Permalink

    As an Indian from the Land of Curry, I can tell just by looking at this recipe that it will be delicious! You are absolutely right that making a fresh curry paste takes the dish to a whole new level, and is really not that difficult.
    Kamini.

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