After my fast start to Fish Some Day or Another, last week was too dang busy to really cook. My fish day was sushi from M&S because it was fast and easy. And frankly, I didn't feel like cooking this weekend, either, so I ordered takeaway and ate ready meals and whatever else I could find hiding in my fridge and cupboard.
So tonight I decided I was going to cook if it killed me. I had quite a few vegetables that I needed to use, and I have likely not met my 5 a day in the last few so it seemed like a good idea to make something full of planty byproducts to catch up. Here's what I did:
Congolese Eggplant Curry
Start the brown rice.
Chop up an eggplant, salt it to make it weep and then give it some alone-time.
Smash two cloves of garlic, chop up two chilis (seeds and all), chop two large onions and grate about a thumb's knuckle worth of ginger root.
Chop up about three cups of cauliflower, a yellow pepper and some mushrooms. Open a tin of tomatoes and a can of coconut milk. (I dumped some of the coconut in the rice water to give it some sweetness, as well.) Get some curry powder and black mustard seeds out so they're ready.
Grab the eggplant, put it in a strainer, rinse it and then squeeze out the remaining water.
Time to cook. Heat a deep stew pan. Put in some non-olive oil. Start by sauteeing the mustard seeds, then add the onions for a few minutes, then add the chili/garlic/ginger. Toss around for another minute. Put in two teaspoons of curry powder. It's going to start getting gunky, FYI, so keep stirring. After a minute, you can toss in the eggplant and the cauliflower and stir a bit, then add about a 1/4 cup of water. You'll need it to pick up the bits of curry that have stuck to the pan. Maybe three minutes in, add the pepper and the mushrooms.
Cover, reduce the heat to about medium and let stew for 10 minutes or so. Stir it once in awhile, but it can pretty much sit while you do something else (like the dishes). Now you add the tin of tomatoes, stir and stew some more. When it's all smelling luscious, it's time for about 1/2 the coconut milk. Lower the heat, but let it bubble away for about five minutes and stir occassionally or it will blacken the pan. You should taste it for salt, because if you rinsed your eggplant really well it might need some.
During the final stewing, you can chop up some almonds.
Rice should be done, stew should be done...put a bed of rice in a wide bowl, cover with the eggplant stew, sprinkle with almonds and enjoy. Your house will smell sweet spicy delicious, you'll sweat a little from the chili and the curry powder, and you'll be warmed and nourished from the inside on a blustery winterspring night.
Had a nice glass of crisp white something or other with it and was quite pleased.