Eggplant braised in peanut sauce might just become a new addiction for you. Confused, intrigued yet? Let me explain. My mom’s garden had beautiful eggplants growing in abundance. We now have an eggplant surplus. There is a phenomenon of “too much of a good thing”. So I needed to look beyond the usual fare that I turn in with eggplant. And lo-and-behold, that incessant tinkering led me to this gem of a dish.
There are only two things to remember in this recipe. Otherwise it’s quite plain and simple. Firstly, you have to dry fry the peanuts along with the whole spices, to release all of their flavours. This is the key step. The one that would affect the flavour of the dish the most. The other thing is to shallow fry the eggplant pieces after a dry-rub. I know, you would think it’s too much of a work. Fret not. The video below naturally shows everything you need to make this without a fuss. So have a look in there.A #vegan #glutenfree gem: Braised eggplant in peanut sauce. Click To Tweet
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THERE IS MORE TO EGGPLANT THAN JUST BABAGANOUSH:
Don’t get me wrong I love a good babaganoush as much as the next person but I am not a chip and dip kind of person. I would love the occasional snack here and there but more often than not I eat three square meals a day and multiple cups of black tea or coffee in between.
That’s me; my food habits are pretty predictable like that. Since, I had struggled with serious weight gain in my teens and uptil last year, I am more mindful of what I eat. So you will never catch me with a tub of popcorn when I am alone watching a movie. At home, unless I am making things from scratch I won’t eat any of that. At least I try my level best to do that. Was that too much information? Please tell me I am not alone.
So coming back to today’s recipe. Last Friday night, I was thinking of a way of making eggplant “satay” like bites to have in a salad. Perhaps make a different sort of peanut sauce to use as a dressing. I would have loved that but Manish wanted a curry instead. He offered to make his tried and true eggplant masala (one of his mom’s recipes) for us but I couldn’t let the thought of a creamy peanut sauce go.Be adventurous with your eggplant today; Braised Eggplant. Click To Tweet
And hence I didn’t. I persevered and told him I really wanted to try something new. He grunted (Manish hates the thought of change) but let up. He worked on the rice, whilst I worked on this. That night we finished this delightful dish without a single word being exchanged. We were wolfing down the food. It was so yummy.
So I made it again yesterday, and invited my sister and a friend over to try the dish. I served it with the butter bean coconut rice. They were at once pleased and surprised that what they had was eggplant. This creamy, robust peanut sauce went down like a dream. After that warm reception, the only question that remained for me to ask was, will Monday be too soon to make it again?
- 100gm Peanuts, Raw
- ½tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
- 40gm Unsweetened Dessicated Coconut
- 4 Dried Red Chillies, torn
- ½tsp Whole Peppercorn
- 100 to 200ml Water
- 450gm Eggplant, raw, in chunks
- 1tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt, to taste
- 10gm Mustard Oil
- 200gm Onion, paste
- 20gm Ginger, paste
- 20gm Garlic, paste
- ½tsp Red Chillie Powder
- ½tsp Cumin Powder
- ½tsp Coriander Powder
- 250ml Water
- For the paste, dry fry all the ingredients apart from the water till the mixture becomes fragrant. Transfer to a blender. Add enough water and blend to make a thick paste. Reserve for use.
- Dry rub the eggplant chunks with the turmeric and salt. Heat the oil in a pan, shallow fry the eggplant till the pieces take on a bit of colour. Set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the onions, till light golden, add the ginger and garlic and allow the mixture to cook further. Add the powdered spices and cook till the mixture glistens.
- Add the prepared peanut and coconut paste. Mix thoroughly. Add the fried eggplants. Mix well. Follow it up with water. Braise on a low heat till the eggplant is tender.
- Serve hot with rice or any flatbread.
You may substitute the red chillies (dried or powdered) with a mild paprika of your choice to completely cut down on the heat but still retain the smoky flavours essential to the dish.
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Thank you for reading.
Lots of Love,
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