Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oven Roasted Eggplant in coconut milk gravy curry ~ Baingan ki subzi ~ Kathrikai kozhambu

Been a while since I posted any curries in this space. Not because I haven't been making curries, but because most of the curries that I made recently were already posted in this space earlier or were regular simple curries. The one exception was this roasted eggplant curry that I made a few months back for the first time. As soon as I tasted it, I knew that I would be making this curry again and again and that it would definitely find its way into this space. :-)

My mother in law watches a cookery show on television regularly and when she was here she used to put it on,  and some days I would join her in watching the program.I have to admit I am not one of those people that can sit patiently while watching tv, I get too restless. But this program was fun,  only because most of the times my mother in law and I would be talking about all the experiments we have tried in our kitchens and only glance occasionally at the tv when something looked interesting :-)  One such interesting idea that I got from the show was the idea of making a gravy combining tamarind and coconut milk for a curry, the lady used this gravy for a fish curry.

I decided to make a vegetarian version with eggplant. The first time I made this curry I used pearl onions and tamarind in the curry and loved it. Subsequently I changed things up a bit and made this curry with regular onions, used ketchup instead of tamarind and loved it even more. The slight sweetness that ketchup brings to this curry adds a very interesting and delicious dimension to this curry. And I must mention that using ketchup instead of tamarind means that the curry gets ready even faster than the tamarind version.  So this has become my new favorite eggplant curry these days, give it a try and see if it becomes your favorite too :-)

 Vegan Oven Roasted Eggplant in Coconut Milk Gravy Curry ~ Baingan ki subzi ~ Katrikai kozhambu

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Eggplant with coconut gravy curry
1 large eggplant cut into 1/4 inch width and 2 inch length matchsticks (or 10 medium sized Indian eggplants cut into wedges) (Baingan/katrikai)
1 large red onion cut very fine (pyaaz/vengayam)
3 medium tomatoes cut fine (tamatar/ thakkali)
1 tsp chopped ginger (adrak/inji)
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other oil)
1/4 cup plain ketchup (see notes)
salt to taste (namak/ uppu)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi/manjal podi)
1/2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste) (lal mirch/ molagai podi)
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut milk (according to  taste) (nariyal ka doodh/thengai paal)
Optional garnish
7 to 8 curry leaves broken into small pieces

Pre heat oven to 425 deg F.

Line a tray or two (I needed two trays) with foil and keep aside. Spread the cut eggplant on the trays in a manner that it is not overlapping. Brush on a little oil on the vegetable and place in the oven.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until it turns a little golden,  turning once in between to ensure even baking. Remove from oven when done and keep aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil on medium low heat. Add onions and saute until it turns transparent. Add minced ginger and stir a few times. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and stir a few times. Add ketchup and 3/4 cup water, mix well and allow to simmer for a few seconds.

Add roasted eggplant , salt to taste and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
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Finally add coconut milk anywhere between 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on your choice and taste. Add water if required to achieve desired consistency.  I used 1/2 cup coconut milk and little bit of water. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with curry leaves if using and serve on a bed of plain steamed rice.

This curry can also be served with Rotis/ phulkas (Indian flatbread)

This curry can also be made with tamarind as I mentioned earlier. If you want to skip the ketchup and use tamarind instead, then soak 3 to 4 small thumb sized pieces of tamarind in sufficient water for 15 to 20 mins. Extract juice from the tamarind by pressing it and removing its juice. Fill with water again and do this a couple of times till all the juice from the tamarind has been extracted. Discard pulp and seeds. I got approx 1 1/2 cups of tamarind juice. Pour this water after the tomatoes are cooked and softened and allow to simmer for a few minutes until the raw smell from the tamarind disappears. Then add roasted eggplant and proceed with the rest of the recipe as above.
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