A hearty, flavour-packed curry for the cooler evenings.
Something magical happens when you drizzle eggplant in olive oil and apply heat. It begins to melt and simultaneously caramelise, and takes on an unctuous earthy flavour. Those who shun this humble vegetable might just be convinced to love it when cooked like this and wrapped in a silky smooth coconut curry. I know eggplant is really on the out, being a summer vegetable and all, but as many are grown in hot houses right here in Aotearoa you will find they are available year-round. You could, however, replace the eggplant with a cup of roasted cauliflower or broccoli, or even frozen peas.
EGGPLANT & CHICKPEA CURRY
- 1 eggplant
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 onions, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 red capsicum, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 thumb-sized knob ginger, grated
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 silverbeet leaves, finely shredded, stalk included
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tins coconut cream (coconut milk would be fine too)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the eggplant into 1cm cubes, put into an oven-proof dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with sea salt.
Put into the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until soft and starting to catch on the bottom of the dish. Remove from the oven once cooked.
While the eggplant is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes or until the onion starts to caramelise.
Add the capsicum, garlic and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes. Next add the spices, salt and the silverbeet and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding in the eggplant, the tomatoes, the chickpeas and the coconut cream.
Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. It can be served as is garnished with coriander, or over rice with a banana raita and flatbreads.