There has been an abundance of eggplant here in the Valley of the Sun, so I thought I’d make a vegetable dish without using the cookbook. I followed steps I’ve learned, toasting the seed spices, soaking tamarind, and stacking flavors. I found a name for this recipe, and I think I like it. Let me know if you do.
You are probably wondering how to find some of the ingredients I use in this recipe. I have the advantage of having a Vietnamese Grocer several blocks from the house. I can buy some of the specialty items there, split mung beans and eggplant especially. For the bulk spices I go to the Herbalist down the street. They carry a decent supply of fresh herbs and spices. Their cumin is fantastic. When I need to find the exotic, there is a super chain called LeeLees that specializes in International foods. They have a great produce section as well as a selection of the Indian Spices I use. If you can’t find some of these ingredients in your market, check online, there are several reputable companies with reasonable prices. You can look into Chakra 4, they ship throughout the U.S, and to some other countries.
- 2 tbsp Sunflower oil or Olive Oil
- 1 white Sweet Potato
- 1 large or 2 small Japanese Eggplants (the purple ones) large diced
- 1 drumstick large dice
- 1/2 Yellow Onion sliced
- 1/2 inch Ginger grated
- 2 Red Fresno Chilis
- 2 tsp Cumin Seed toasted
- 2 tsp Fenugreek Seed toasted
- 2 tsp Coriander Seed ground
- 1 tsp Turmeric ground
- 1 tsp Amchur (Mango) Powder
- 1 large ball of Tamarind soaked in hot water
- 1/2 bunch Cilantro finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Mung Beans cooked
Soak the tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes. Break up the tamarind and strain. Reserve the tamarind Juice.
Heat a large heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add the oil. Add onions and ginger, saute until onions become soft. Add sweet potatoes, saute for another minute or two. Then add eggplant, drumstick, and chilis. Cook until the vegetables become tender.
In another sauce pan, place mung beans and 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer. Cook until mung beans become mushy.
While vegetables and beans are cooking, toast each spice seed separately. Place in a skillet on low and toast for 3-4 minutes until seeds release their aroma.
Add the turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, coriander, amchur powder, and tamarind juice to the vegetables. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the spices are incorporated.
Serve hot over the Mung beans, with flat bread or crackers.
note I added cherry tomatoes to this recipe because I needed to use them up. You can use Romas or regular cherry tomatoes.