The deep purple, glossy skin of eggplants and bright red skin of tomatoes make them look like an eatable piece of art. No wonder they belong to the same plant family and, technically, both of them are actually fruits. Shame I didn’t know that as a kid, I would have had an excuse to take an eggplant to school as my fruit snack – I love them! Just as there are a lot of different kinds of tomatoes, there is a big variety of colors and shapes of eggplants. They can be small, big, long, round, green, lavender, orange and even yellow. My favourites are the deep purple ones. Firm and shiny outside, creamy in texture and so smoky in flavour. I like to prepare them in a lot of different ways, some of them I will be sharing with you on the blog. Let’s start with something fast and super tasty. This is a spicy option (we will use fresh chilies), but If you don’t like spicy dishes or you want to serve it to kids – simply don’t use the chilies. Thanks to garlic, onion and fresh ginger it will be still very flavourful even without the heat. Let’s get to work!
SPICY EGGPLANT CURRY WITH TOMATOES AND COCONUT MILK
(for 2 servings)
1 small eggplant
3 medium tomatoes
200ml coconut milk
½ fresh chili pepper, chopped (or ½ tsp dry chili)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped red onion
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of kosher salt
fresh basil leafs
a pinch of dried cumin, salt and freshly ground pepper
Slice the eggplant into fine chunks. Toss with kosher salt in a bowl and leave on a strainer for about 20 minutes. Eggplants soak up oil like a sponge and salting helps reduce that.
Meanwhile chop the tomatoes into cubes and leave aside in a bowl (to keep all the tomato juice). Combine chili pepper, garlic, parsley, onion, lime zest, ginger, cumin, salt, freshly ground pepper and 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix with a blender or chop until achieving a paste consistency.
After 20 minutes, rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove the excess salt and dry with paper towel. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan and add the paste you made from the spices. Cook for about 1 minute, add the eggplant and a pinch of salt. Give the pan a shake every now and then and fry until the eggplant is nice and gold on each side (add a little more of olive oil if you feel it’s too dry). Add the tomatoes and coconut milk and give it a stir. Cover the pan and cook in a low heat until the eggplant is tender but not mushy (about 10-15 minutes). Season to taste and sprinkle with fresh basil leafs.
You can enjoy this eggplant curry as a side dish or solo. I served it with Thai jasmine rice and it was delicious! Try it too 🙂