Eggplant, Chickpea & Tomato Curry

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If you’re looking to have a vegetarian lunch or side-dish to a main meal, this fits the bill nicely. I sourced the recipe from All Recipes.co.nz and have altered it slightly. Their version added the eggplant straight into the mixture, but eggplant can be bitter, so I’ve added the instructions for salting the eggplant if you think that might be an issue. I have also added the eggplant in earlier in the cooking process to give it time to soften nicely.

Be warned: the heat is pretty intense, so I would suggest that if you prefer a milder version, cut back on the chilli powder by half, or omit it altogether. Finally, I often like a hint of sweetness in my curries, so next time I’ll probably add a handful of sultanas, or maybe even some chopped mint, in towards the end of the cooking process. Yoghurt on the side might also be a nice addition.


EGGPLANT, CHICKPEA AND TOMATO CURRY

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (madras if you like it hot!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, remove core and dice
  • 1 large eggplant (aubergines), cut into 1cm cubes and peeled (unless it’s a tender skinned variety)
  • 1 (400g) tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (250ml) water

Method

  1. Preparing the eggplant: By salting, or ‘purging’ your eggplant you’ll remove the juices that make it bitter. To purge your eggplant, peel it (if it’s not tender skinned), cut it into chunks or slices, salt liberally on all sides and place in a colander for an hour. The salt will draw out those bitter juices. Rinse the eggplant thoroughly in cold water and press dry between a clean cloth.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan on medium high heat. Sauté onions and eggplant until softened.
  3. Lower heat to medium then add in bay leaves, garlic, ginger and spices then stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in tomatoes and stir to coat tomato pieces with the spices. Turn the heat down to low.
  5. Add chickpeas and stir well. Add salt and half of the water. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomato sauce and remaining water. Simmer stirring occasionally for a further 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water as it cooks to get the desired consistency of the gravy. The resulting dish should have a thick gravy the consistency of tomato sauce.
  7. Serve piping hot with basmati rice (I served with 2 cups of gluten free penne pasta), warm naan or chapatis.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting

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