This curry is a family favourite, quick and so easy. It’s subtly spiced and the fresh sweet cherry tomatoes really make it. This recipe came about as I had a lot of cherry tomatoes, 1 random eggplant, no legumes or meat but I did have chickpea flour and pantry staples. Everyone enjoyed it here. The pudlas are so great and so versatile and my kids love them. I often add in spices or grated vegetables to mix it up.
No eggplant? Change the eggplant to carrots, pumpkin, cauliflower or kumara. You can also add legumes to the curry.
Serves 4 – not as generously as my other recipes.
2 T oil plus extra for eggplant
1 onion, finely diced
1 tsp each of fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds , ground roughly (Saving 1.5 tsp for the spiced eggplant)
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 large eggplant (or 2 small, cut in half) – cut in 4 length ways and seasoned with salt and 1 .5 tsp spice mix
500g fresh cherry toms, cut in half – try a tin and see how you go!
1 tin coconut milk
1-2 T tamarind paste *- this amount really depends on the flavour and quality of the cherry tomatoes
1 tsp sugar or half a tsp maple syrup
Coriander to finish
Serve with Pudlas (recipe below) and rice
Heat the oven to 200 degrees and split the eggplant into 4. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and rub in the spices. Roast at 200 for 20-30 minutes or until caramelised and cooked through. I finished mine under the grill sometimes to get good colour.
Meanwhile heat oil or ghee in a pan on a medium heat and add in onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the spices and cook out for a minute or two. Increase heat to medium high and add cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to get soft and the skins blister and pop, releasing their juices, about 5 -10 minutes. Add in coconut milk, tamarind paste and sugar and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or so. Season with salt and adjust the tamarind to taste.
Nestle the roast eggplant in the curry sauce and serve with coriander leaves on top.
The curry sauce can be make in advance and so can the eggplant. Just reheat gently to eat.
Serve with rice and pudlas. Pudlas are super quick to make and a good protein boost if you don’t have any on hand like I did.
Chickpeas would make a great addition to this curry if you didn’t make the pudlas. Perhaps roast them for 10 minutes with the extra spices above and use them as a topping, they can be used in place of the eggplant. Try spice roasted pumpkin instead of the eggplant also.
*To make tamarind paste from the pulp, place 25g tamarind pulp in a bowl and pour 50ml of boiling water over top. Leave for 10 minutes and then mush with your fingers or a spoon. Push through a sieve over a bowl and there you have the tamarind paste. You can also buy tamarind paste ready to go. Each brand varies in flavour so adjust accordingly.
Pudlas – Indian chickpea crepes
These are a thin crepe; the consistency is like cream. The mix keeps well in the fridge so feel free to double it and crank some out for breakfast or lunch. This makes 2 cups so about 8 small crepes.
You can get chickpea flour at the supermarket but the best place to get it the Indian grocer or an organics shop. It’s also called besan flour.
150g chickpea flour also called besan flour
½ cup yoghurt/buttermilk/milk kefir (100g)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
2 T coriander or up to half a cup
1/2-1 green chilli, finely chopped
Blend or whisk everything together until smooth. The batter can be made in advance and keeps in the fridge for 3 days if needed.
Heat a pan with a little oil, pour in ¼ cup and tilt pan ton spread. Turn when brown. Cover with a bit of foil to keep warm while you are cooking the others.