SMOKED EGGPLANT CURRY

Smoked Eggplant Curry

While at the fresh market, I spotted these giant Eggplants/Brinjals, which I bet if you could aim right & spin at someone, it would knock him of his feet…. without further thought I placed it in my cart, along with the other vegetables, to stack my refrigerator, before the major snow hits us this weekend.This morning, as I fiddled with the thought of what to cook for lunch,the two giant eggplants seemed to stare at me from the refrigerator….a light bulb moment occurred….the kind that sheds light on the best of cooking on a cold wintery weekend.Being a laid back weekend, with freezing temperatures outside, there was so much time to experiment,so I picked Koyla(smoked) Chicken recipe, by Sanjeev Kapoor of the “Khana Khazana’ fame , tweaked it a bit to suit the eggplant I had in hand & Voila, a new recipe was born.When you run out of ideas to cook your eggplant , try this recipe which is a quick & easy one and turns out delicious as a side.Along with my Avocado chapatis , they made a sumptuous meal.

Smoked Eggplant Curry
Smoked Eggplant Curry

Ingredients:

1.Eggplant- 1 (giant one) or 5-6 small ones
2.Tomatoes- 3
3.Oil/Butter- 2 tbsp
4.Cashewnuts- 6-8( whole)
5.Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
6.Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
7.Ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp
8.Salt- to taste
9.Lemon juice- to squeeze on top
10.Charcoal- 5-6 large pieces
Method:
1.Heat water in a vessel & to this add the washed whole tomatoes & allow it to come to a boil.Once the tomato skins starts to blister, remove from water & set aside to cool.When they are cooled down, add the cashews & the tomatoes together in a blender & puree them.Set aside.
2.Now in a separate wok, add some oil/butter & warm it.To this add the cubed eggplants with the skin on & sauté them till they are light brown & soft.
3.Now add the ginger garlic paste & stir for a few minutes before adding the garam masala & chili powder to it.Keep stirring till the raw smell disappears.
4.Now to the eggplant mix, add the pureed tomato paste & stir them all together.At this point you may add a little water , if you find the sauce too thick.
5.Add salt to taste & let it cook with the lid on 10- 15 minutes.
6.At this point, comes the fun part of ‘smoking’ the curry, heat charcoal on an open flame using a pair of tongs .When its still hot, transfer it to a small bowl & place the bowl on top of the curry & pour a drop of oil or two on the hot coal to create the desired smoke.Put the lid on & keep it on for 5 minutes, till the smoke spreads on the curry giving it, its unique flavor.Remove the bowl of charcoal & discard the charcoal safely .
7.Now remove the curry from the stove top , after squeezing some lemon juice serve hot with flat breads or chapatis.
8.Enjoy your smoked curry on a cold winter day watching your favorite movies on the TV.

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