Monday, August 8, 2011

Eggplant Stuffed with Minced Meat Curry

I am finally becoming comfortable enough with my stash of Indian spices to foray into the world of curries without a cookbook as a guide. This curry is fairly mild when paired with eggplant. And the combination is a nice twist on a typically Italian dish.

The recipe is my own

serves 4-6

The Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1" stick of cinnamon
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 black cardamom pods
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 clove garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 1/4 lb ground meat (lamb, turkey of beef)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 cup peas

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the tops of the eggplants and halve lengthwise. Prick the skins and place the eggplants face down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a large skillet and add the bay leaves, cinanamon, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom. When the spices begin to sizzle, add the onions. Saute over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes more.

Add the ground meat, and cook until no longer pink, 10-12 minutes. Break up any lumps with the back of a spoon. Add the tomato paste, cover and simmer.

Once the eggplants are cool enough to handle, spoon out the flesh from the center, leaving a 1/2" wall around the skin. Finely chop the flesh and add to the meat mixture. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and salt. Add peas and stir until combined. Simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Spoon the minced meat curry into the eggplant halved=s, mounding slightly. Bake at 350 for an 20-25 minutes.

Serve with rice.

The Review:
My former Indian neighbors would have been proud.

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