Spicy Eggplant Rice With Mint

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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.

Ingredients

        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.

Instructions

Step 1:
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.

Step 2:
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.

Step 3:
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

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