Spicy eggplant rice with mint
A childhood friend often used to make this dish for me—Vaangi Baath, as it is known in India. I have added a twist—mint—for extra flavor. You can use Asian baby eggplants or the regular ones for this recipe. Serve it with a Potato Raita with Chives and Cumin.
– 1 cup (75 g) dried unsweetened coconut; 8 dried red chili peppers, broken
– 1½ teaspoons coriander seeds; 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
– 2 teaspoons sesame seeds; ½ teaspoon seeds extracted from whole green cardamom pods
– ½ teaspoon black peppercorns; ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
– ¼ teaspoon ground cloves; ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 2 tablespoons oil; 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
– 1 tablespoon minced fresh curry leaves; 1 lb (500 g) eggplant, cut into 1-in (2.5-cm) pieces
– Salt, to taste; 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 4 cups (800 g) basmati rice, cooked (follow recipe for Basmati Rice with Dry-Roasted Spices, omitting the spices)
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves.
Toast the coconut, red chili peppers, coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, cardamom and black peppercorns in a medium pan over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove the spices from the pan and let cool. Grind the spices to a ne powder in a spice or co�ee grinder. Place in small bowl and mix in the turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds; they should splutter upon contact. Quickly add the curry leaves, eggplant, salt, and half the ground spice mix. Cover the pan and cook over mediumhigh heat the rst 2 to 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggplant is quite soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook about 2 minutes. Gently mix in the cooked rice, mint and the remaining ground spice mix. Cover and cook over low heat, 5 to 7 minutes, to blend the avors. Serve hot.
Food: Spicy Eggplant Rice With Mint