Purnima Garg's Eggplant and Tomato Curry

September  6, 2009
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

This recipe came from a co-worker who is from India. I used to walk hopefully to her office every afternoon to see what she was having for lunch. She always shared, and one Thanksgiving came over and showed me several of her recipes, including this one. —luvcookbooks

Test Kitchen Notes

Japanese eggplant has firmer flesh than regular eggplant, which means it holds up when stewed. We're not sure if that's why luvcookbooks calls for this type, but it works really well here as you simmer slices of the eggplant with canned tomatoes, onion and a mix of spices, including cumin, mustard seeds, coriander and garam masala. Luvcookbooks has you toast the spices and brown the onion, which gives it a richness and sweetness that permeates the dish. Then you add the eggplant and tomatoes and cook them until the eggplant is tender. (You'll need to add water a few times to keep the pan from drying out.) In less than 20 minutes, you'll have a wonderful, fragrant dish that would be great with grilled lamb or roasted chicken. - A&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 Japanese (long and thin) eggplants, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and heat about 30 seconds, until they pop.
  2. Add the sliced onions, and stir occasionally over medium high heat until they are deep brown in spots (this will take a while, but makes a big difference to the taste and they won't burn if you are careful).
  3. Add the eggplant and fry until the skin is turning brown and the flesh just starts to soften. You may have to add a little more oil.
  4. Add the chile, coriander, garam masala, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Turn heat to medium low and cook until the eggplant is soft. Add a little water if it is getting too dry but it will be more solid than watery.
  5. Serve with white rice, spicy Indian lime pickle, and plain full-fat Greek yogurt (you only use a little yogurt and the low-fat yogurt tastes thin and sour).

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