It is freezing here! Today reached a high of 19F. Temperatures like this make me want to abandon my early Saturday morning routine of exercise, food shopping and errands. In this area, there is no one-stop supermarkets. Many little markets cater to different cultures. It’s what I love about this borough, but on a frigid day, the last thing you want to do is be outside. I was in the mood for Indian today. Jackson Heights has some great restaurant but I have to admit, the food is quite hot. I don’t mind the spices, in fact like them, but the pepper is often more that I can bare. So, I come up with my own rendition of my favorite Indian foods. This one is made with eggplant. It is not spicy, the eggplant is baked instead of fried and olive is used in place of ghee. Eggplant with Kalonji seed is always delicious with brown basmati rice or paratha. It’s very simple to make and I hope you will add it to your collection if Indian recipes.
Eggplant with Kalongi Seed
1 large eggplant
2 teaspoons garam masala
¼ cup plus 1-tablespoon olive oil
16 oz diced can tomatoes or 4 large plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon seeded and sliced chili pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon kalonji seeds
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fresh ground turmeric or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350F
Cut eggplant lengthwise in eighths, then cut each of those pieces on a bias into thirds.*
Place eggplant in a medium bowl; add ¼-cup olive oil, garam masala and a little salt. Toss and place on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.
While baking the eggplant, heat a large saute pan with 1-tablespoon olive oil.
Add ginger, garlic, chilies and fresh turmeric. Saute for about five minutes
then add dried spices sauté for one minute more
then add tomato. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant cover and simmer on very low flame for 10 minutes more.
Remove from heat and serve.
*If you find that eggplant makes your mouth itch, you make want to lightly salt the eggplant and let stand for one hour before baking it.