When you have really fresh long green eggplant on hand, capitalize on the goodness of its insides. Cook it in a way that retains its juices. Ditch chopping and cubing, go for slitting and spicing. This recipe of spice-lined long green eggplant curry shows how.
- Long green eggplant – 3*
- Tomatoes – 2, small
- Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Pepper powder – 1/3 teaspoon
- Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
*I used eggplant that was about 8-inches long. Adjust quantity as you need.
Cut the long green eggplant into pieces about 2.5 inches long. Slit them into 4 lengthwise, without slitting them all the way through. Let the joint remain at one end.
Take a wide bowl of water with a teaspoon of salt in it. Transfer the slit eggplant as soon as cut.
Let the slit eggplant stand in salted water for 30 minutes. The water would have taken on a brown tint by this time. Drain the water and wash the eggplant well.
Mix together cumin powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, red chili powder and salt. Keep half a teaspoon of the spice mix aside to add during cooking, use the rest for lining the eggplant. Gently pry apart each slit eggplant and smear some of the spice mix evenly inside. Close.
Cut tomatoes into four quarters lengthwise.
In a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon of mustard oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Place the spice-lined green eggplant pieces evenly in the pan, interspersed with tomatoes. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix and a pinch of salt if needed. Cook covered on medium heat. Every other minute, turn around so that the eggplant is cooked evenly.
Take it off the heat when the eggplant is done from all sides. This should take 10-15mins.
Serve hot with an Indian meal. My dinner of spice-lined long green eggplant curry with vegetable pulao: