We live in a small town, which does not provide us with access to large grocery stores with beautiful organic produce. When we make a trip to ‘the city,’ as us rural folks like to refer to any town with 100,000+ people, I almost always make a trip to the grocery store and stock up on as much organic produce I think my husband will let me get away with purchasing.
This past weekend, I found some beautiful organic eggplant. Whenever I find eggplant in the store, organic or conventional, it never seems to look quite up to par. But this eggplant was beautiful. Impulse decision was made: buy now, find recipe later.
I recently received a vegan cookbook for my birthday. It has a convenient index, prompting me to look up eggplant. I have been on a curry kick lately, so we decided to go with a Chickpea Eggplant Curry recipe. It delivered.
Being a new mom, I am proud to say I have quickly picked up on some tricks on how you can parent and still get a home cooked meal on the table. I will share them with you now.
Step 1: Ensure baby is asleep. I don’t mean just taking a cat nap: baby needs to be completely out.
Step 2: Do as much prepping while said baby is asleep. I cut all of these around noon, even though they were for dinner. Having things ready to go makes preparing any dish go exponentially faster.
Step 3: While you’ve got the cutting board out and the baby asleep, might as well chop up some veggies for that hummus you made the other day. Now your husband has one less excuse to eat his vegetables. (Remaining excuses include “I forgot” and “I didn’t have time.” If you figure out how to eliminate those, please let me know)
Step 4: Spend the afternoon doing tummy time! (Just kidding. There’s no way this kid would stand for tummy time all afternoon. Maybe just a few minutes.)
Step… wait, what number are we on? Well, anyway, it’s time to actually make dinner now. Toss your onions into a pot with some oil. Easy… you already have your onions chopped, remember?
I chopped up the eggplant while the onions were cooking. I didn’t chop it earlier because I didn’t want it to get brown, nor did I want to mess with tossing it in lemon juice.
Add the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and let them get happy for a minute before you add the tomatoes, eggplant and broth. Spices come next…
Let this amazing pot full of veggies cook for 40 minutes until it looks like this:
At which point you add your chickepas, cook for a few more minutes, then serve! I served the dish with some focaccia I had made on my Sunday Snow Day. Pita bread, rice, or noodles would all go nicely as well.
Final Step: Eatasfastasyoucanbeforebabyneedstoeatoranewdiaperorjustwantstobewalkedaroundthehouse.
Eggplant-Chickpea Curry (taken from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
1 tsp oil
1 small white onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound tomatoes, chopped roughly
2 pounds eggplant, cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 15-oz can chipeas, drained and rinsed
Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger & red pepper flakes, saute for another minute. Add tomato, eggplant & salt, cook for another minute.
Mix in the spices & vegetable broth, stir, cover the pot. Bring to a slow boil & cook, covered, for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very soft. Add the chickpeas and cook, uncovered for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.