Eggplant deliciously soaks up the warm spices of Indian cooking
4 1/2 pounds eggplant
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped green chili
3 tablespoons chopped or grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon fenugreek
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and place, cut sides down, on an oiled sheet pan. Roast for 20 minutes, or until eggplants are tender but not mushy. Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes and reserve.
2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add onion, garlic, chili, ginger, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
3. While the onions are cooking, toast fenugreek, coriander, and cumin in a dry skillet over moderate heat for 2 minutes, or until spices are fragrant. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind seeds into a fine powder.
4. Add spices to saucepan and cook for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until tomato sauce is reduced by about one third.
5. Add reserved eggplant and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to heat eggplant through. Adjust seasoning, and garnish with the remaining cilantro leaves and nutmeg.
Eggplant deliciously soaks up the warm spices of Indian cooking. Serves 8 as a side dish