Tuesday, 30 September 2008

new kitchen, same dance

I moved into a kitchen of my very own, at least for the winter. And I have possibly the worst picture yet, since I think my photographic standards have been dangerously high as of late. However, this is okay, since eggplant curry is one of those dishes that tastes divine and looks like a big old pile of mush (at least when I make it). Why waste my limited photography skills on mush?

After that last post, I thought I'd show y'all something simple, and kitchenwarming. Eggplant curry: cumin, coriander, kashmiri chillies, bay leaf, onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, eggplant, chickpeas, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, chilli flakes, salt, lemon juice, coriander. Sounds complicated, but it's not. Dry roast everything up until and including the bay leaf until your kitchen smells like heaven. Add the onion and coat in the nearly-burnt-but-not spices. Throw in some water, and then the tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Simmer. Add eggplant and cooked chickpeas. Simmer some more. Add everything else. Eat on rice. I also had fennel and grapefruit, sliced thin and maybe some lime pickle.

Note: I used the cinnamon, cloves and black pepper because I was out of garam masala. I used chickpeas that I already had cooked up, and since I boil my beans in salted water, this curry didn't need a lot of salt. The trick of dry-roasting the spices and then adding onions until they get crusted with toasty spices and then throwing water on the whole mess is a nice way to do everyday food without adding oil. If you're having a dinner party, or want to make this richer, do the standard thing where you start off by frying the spices in oil. On a day to day basis, I prefer the no-oil version, even in terms of taste. Fried stuff is just too heavy and tired-making at the end of a day. This isn't a super quick dinner, so make the most of your time and cook up enough for leftovers tomorrow.


T.Allen-Mercado said...

This sounds amazing! It's a bit late to start now, but I think I may try this one tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

vegandwhatnot said...

Made this for supper, since I had an eggplant begging to be used. So delicious, yet so easy. It took some time, but it was all spent in that sorta meditative cooking state. Had to skip two ingregiends I think (I'm not allowed to bring cloves into the house unless I sneak them in the form of chai tea, and all I had was some rather large green onions), but turned out great anyways.
Hope your new kitchen quickly obtains that 'this is the best room in the house' feeling.

sinead said...

Oh... I love this kitchen. It's far and away the cosiest I've ever had, and it'd a kitchen/living room, so there's a couch in it for people to sit on while I cook! Yay! It is totally the best room in the house. It's a good thing I like it though, because other than the bedroom, it's the only room in the house. I've lived in smaller places before, and larger ones, and this one feels just right. Yes. A Goldilocks flat.

The eggplant recipe is really insanely versatile. I only used cloves because I was out of garam masala anyways...and I often make it with green onions. I've made it with fava beans or white kidney beans instead of chickpeas. If I don't have any cooked beans on hand (for shame!), I just sprinkle peanuts on top. You can also use lime and coconut instead of lemon and coriander (though I am a coriander fiend, so why anyone would do that is beyond me). So long as you get the spices well-toasted, it works. Using black cumin and a smidge of smoked paprika also works out yummerific.

Jake said...

So I guess you're not living with Spanky anymore? What are you going to do about beer?

I can't do eggplant because it gives me cankers, but it sounds like zucchini would work too.

medici said...

Oh, I think that this is a fine photograph. It captures quite nicely the light in Scotland as we slide through the fall.

sinead said...

@ Jakey: Nope. No more Spanky roomateness, but there are plans to carry on with Ducky's Culinary School.

And yes. It works with zucchini. I would add black mustard seeds (at the beginning, with the cumin).