Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Today I woke up and felt like grilling something. The weather is such. Beautiful CA weather for grilling. So I went outside with my late breakfast to the patio to enjoy the weather. Of course I had forgotten that for some reason, almost gale-force winds blow through our backyard. To the point where we have to put on sweatshirts to sit outside. In. The. Middle. Of. Summer. Anyways, I sat outside for as long as I could. Looked longingly at the grill and then came back inside. There was nothing to grill anyways and it was too windy. Inevitably mum and I started talking about dinner options. She decided to make a potato and eggplant curry with roti. I call it a curry even though technically no curry powders are used in this dish. But if I don’t call it a curry, I am not sure what else to call it. A stir-fry? Masala-less curry? White curry? Dry curry? We call everything curry or at least I do. Or in Hindi we call every main dish "tarkari". Anyways, once you see the recipe, maybe you can tell me what to call it. This recipe comes together in 30 minutes or so and uses two main ingredients: potatoes and eggplant. Almost any type of potato can be used in this dish. For the eggplant, we use Asian eggplants (long skinny purple ones). They are softer and tend to get mushier more I think.
I believe you can use Italian eggplants too but I would probably peel them before using as their skins tend to be tougher. Potatoes should be largely diced and eggplants should be sliced into sticks (almost like french fries). They should be left in the water to prevent them from browning. Once this is ready, rest of the steps are straightforward. Heat up oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onions, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and chilis if you are using. Once this mixture has browned, add potatoes and eggplant pieces.
Add salt and mix well. Cover and stir every five minutes or so. There is very little moisture released in this dish so the potato and eggplant will start to brown and stick to the bottom of the pot. This is ok. Just keep an eye on this and stir frequently. The dish is done once the potatoes are cooked completely. The eggplant will cook before the potato and will become soft, velvety and will add to the luxuriousness of this very basic everyday curry-not-curry. You can add a handful of cilantro at the end for freshness or can leave it out. And there you have it! Mum's Basic Potato and Eggplant Curry! I like to eat this with plain rotis (See link for roti recipe below) and some sort of pickles. Delicious!
RECIPE: Serves: 4 Cook time: 30 minutes Ingredients: -2 medium sized potatoes (chopped 2 x 2 inches) -2 eggplants (sliced lengthwise into sticks) -2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil -1 tsp mustard seeds -1 tsp cumin seeds -1/4 onion diced -handful of curry leaves (optional) -1 tbsp crushed garlic -1 tbsp crushed ginger -2 Thai chilis sliced (optional) -salt to taste -handful of chopped cilantro (optional) Method:
Chop eggplant into sticks like you would for French fries. Chop potato into large pieces. About 2 x 2 inches per piece. Leave the potato and eggplant pieces in water while you prep other ingredients.
Heat up oil on medium flame, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and diced onion. Let edges of onion get brown then add crushed ginger, garlic and chilis if you are using. Cook this until fragrant for about a minute or so.
Add eggplant and potato pieces. Do not add the water.
Add salt, mix well and cover.
Stir every five minutes to ensure mixture does not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.
Dish should be done when potatoes are completely cooked and soft. The eggplant should already be cooked by this point.
Add cilantro if desired.
Dish is best served hot with some freshly made rotis or naan. Enjoy!