Eggplant & Chick Peas

Hello, I know it’s been awhile since my last recipe but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking or baking ūüôā ¬†In fact I have, but I’ve been obsessing about what would ¬†be good to post and now I have found it. ¬†I don’t know about you but one of my favorite dishes to eat from an nyc chinese food restaurant was Sweet & Sour Eggplant. ¬†Recently, my local veggie stand had a sale on eggplant and I jumped on this opportunity to make something grand.

When I went home, I found the ideal recipe in my copy of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman: Hot Sweet and Sour Chickpeas with Eggplant.   I made a food list and set out to find the other ingredients to my dish.  Once my voyage was complete, I settled into the kitchen and filled it with the aroma of good food.

Hot, Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Makes about 4 meal sized portions

2 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

1 medium eggplant cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

2 hot fresh chiles, seeded and minced or hot red pepper flakes to taste

1 sprig fresh curry leaves or several dried leaves (optional)

3 cups cooked black or regular chickpeas with about 2 cups of their cooking liquid

1 tablespoon sambar powder or curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch of asafetida (optional)*

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime juice to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish

Put oil in a skillet over med-high heat.  When hot, add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (5-10min).  Add the ginger, chiles, and curry leaves, stir and cook until fragrant (about 1 min).

Add the chickpeas, Sambar (or curry), turmeric, asafetida, brown sugar, tamarind, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat so that it gently bubbles and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the eggplant is tender (about 15 min).

Add the chickpeas, Sambar (or curry), turmeric, asafetida, brown sugar, tamarind, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat so that it gently bubbles and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the eggplant is tender (about 15 min).

* This item adds a smoky flavor to foods, but be careful with it.  Only use a little and be mindful that is does not smell pleasant until it is fully integrated with your dish.  If you do use this, make sure you place this item in a air-tight container, so its smell does not spread throughout your pantry.

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