“Eggplant and peas together in the one dish?!“
Look, I will admit that I never expected it myself – not even as I just chucked them both into the pot. I mean, I could fib and say that this marriage of eggplant and pea was a genius, calculated combination on my behalf… but really, it was more like those were the last things I had left in the fridge/freezer because I was running out of supplies and was too lazy to go on a grocery run.
So, as you can probably expect, this one was never destined for a blog post – but when it turned out to be as yummy as it did, let’s just say I was surprised. Pleasantly so – and now I just can’t not share it!
With a masala spice mix already made and ready to go, this one was pretty quick to make. I included instructions in the notes section of the recipe for how to make your own masala spice blend but of course, if you prefer to use a store bought paste, by all means, do that! Although, all it takes is a little dry toasting of spices on a pan and a little blitzing so I highly recommend you give it a go. No endless pounding is involved here, you guys!
Oh, and one more thing…
Even though I use a homemade masala spice paste, this recipe is by no means an authentic curry recipe! It’s just a super quick curry that managed to weasel its way onto my heart… ahem I mean blog. Anywho, I loved it and I hope you do too. :)
Eggplant & Pea Curry
1 large (or 2 medium) eggplants
1-2 tbsp salt, to salt the eggplants (this will be rinsed off prior to cooking)
1/2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup masala spice paste *See Notes
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
3-4 curry leaves (or if your curry leaves are small, use 6-8 leaves)
1 cup frozen peas
A good pinch of salt
Serve with cooked brown rice
NOTES: To make your own masala spice paste, cook 2 tsp mustard seeds in a frying pan over medium hear until it starts to pop. Proceed to add in 1 tsp crushed peppercorns, 1.5 tbsp ground coriander, 1.5 tbsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsp ground turmeric, stir for a minute or so until fragrant and then blend with a pinch of chilli powder, 3 cloves of garlic, a 3 cm piece of ginger and 1 tbsp of oil.
1. Slice your eggplant into rounds and lightly salt each round on both sides. Let sit in the salt for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat your 1/2 tbsp of oil in medium size pan or pot over medium heat. Add in your onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Next, add in the masala spice paste and continue to cook for another few minutes until the spices are fragrant.
2. Proceed to rinse your eggplant well under running water to get rid of the excess salt. Now chop your rinsed eggplant rounds into quarters and add this to the pan. Cook the eggplant or a minute or two by itself before adding in the vegetable stock, tomato paste and curry leaves. Turn up the heat, bringing the liquids to a boil. Turn down the hear, cover and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until eggplant is tender but not falling apart. There should not be too much stock left in the pan and what is left should be a relatively thick curry but not dry. If you feel this is too thick, add a little extra water. Now stir in your frozen peas and let come up to temperature. Add a good pinch of salt to the curry and taste, adding more if necessary. Once seasoned to your liking, remove and serve with cooked brown rice.