Indian restaurants are a great place to go and taste what happens when people use the entire spice cabinet. If you’ve ever read the ingredients on a curry mix you will realize they can have as few as 5 spices to as many as 10, 20, or even more. Most of these are things that people actually keep around the house and some are a little less common. Curry basically just refers to the sauce. You can use just about any mixture of spices, any kind of meat if any at all, and any vegetables.
One curry that I make frequently is eggplant curry.
Traditional Western Style Eggplants
- 2-3 eggplants
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans garbanzo beans
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 bulb roasted garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, it doesn't have to be spicy but smoked gives it a flavor that makes you think the eggplants were grilled rather than roasted.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the tops off of the eggplants and split them in half long ways. Salt the flesh liberally then drizzle olive oil over the top. Put them in a baking dish skin side down. Also cut the bottom off of a bulb of garlic, salt the exposed flesh and put oil over that. Wrap it in aluminum foil. Put the eggplants and garlic into a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes until they are very soft. You may need to add a little water to the bottom of the baking dish so they don't dry out.
- When the eggplants are done, use a spoon to pull the flesh off the skin. Put the flesh into a food processor. Squeeze the garlic in also. Blend that all up until it is smooth. Now add the remaining oil, about 3 or 4 tbsp, the lemon juice, a large pinch of salt (maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp), and the paprika. Drain one can of garbanzo beans completely. Add both cans including the liquid from the other can. If you use beans that you cooked at home rather than canned, use about 3C garbanzo and add water about 3 or 4 tbsp at a time until it becomes smooth.
- Be sure to blend this thoroughly until is thick but smooth. It should have the same consistency as hummus Eat it as a dip with pita chips or even tortilla chips, or just grab a spoon and dig in!
- 2 eggplants
- 2 green zucchini
- 2 yellow zucchini also known as summer squash
- 1 sweet onion
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 C diced mushrooms (optional)
- 1 bulb garlic
- 2 red bell pepper (optional)
- 1 C semolina flour
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 8-10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- 1/4 C fresh parsley
- 3 carrots (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Plenty of olive oil and balsamic for the vegetables
- This sounds like a lot of vegetables because it is, but it is definitely worth the work. I usually make this on days when I go to the Farmer's Market. There are few things that taste as good as this dish with fresh produce from the market. To begin get ready to do some chopping, and also preheat an oven to 300. Remove the skins from the eggplants. Cut the eggplants, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes all into about 1/2" slices. Cut the red peppers in half and remove the seeds. Toss all of the vegetables with olive oil and put them on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them and drizzle a little vinegar over the top. Roast them for about 30-45 minutes. Also cut the bottom off of the garlic, sprinkle salt over the exposed flesh, drizzle with oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Put this in the oven too. After about 20 minutes, check the vegetables every 5 minutes until everything is nice and soft.
- For the zucchinis preheat a pan to medium high heat. Cut them to 1" slices and salt both sides. Add a little oil to the pan. Cook both sides until the zucchinis are golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Set aside all of the vegetables until they are cool enough to handle but still warm. Now is a good time to make the pasta. If you are using homemade pasta use the semolina flour and eggs to make egg noodles. If you are using store-bought pasta ignore those ingredients. Be sure to salt the pasta water. It should be a small handful of salt and 1 gallon of water for a box of pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Add the 3 tbsp of balsamic, basil, salt and pepper and roasted garlic to a blender. Blend until everything is smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil. If is too thick add 1 or 2tbsp of the pasta water. The pasta water is already seasoned so it won't make the dressing bland and the starch from the pasta will help hold the dressing together.
- When the vegetables have cooled down, dice them all to bite-sized pieces. Slice the carrots into 1/4" slices and add them. You can also add some uncooked tomatoes for a bit more of a fresh flavor. Mix it all with the pasta. Crumble the feta cheese into it and toss everything. Add the vinaigrette and toss that in. Top it with some good parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!