Garlic Braised Eggplant and Chick-pea Casserole

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1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns cracked
2 medium onions sliced
12 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons powdered mustard
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric or curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 small eggplant (about 3/4 pound) unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inchX2" pieces
5 plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound) quartered
1 chick peas rinsed and drained, (19 ounce can)
2 tablespoons cilantro (or mint) chopped

In a large skillet or flameproof casserole, heat the oil over high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook till dark brown, about 15 seconds. Add the fennel seeds and black pepper and cook for 5 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and reduce the heat to moderately high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, hot pepper, turmeric and salt. Add the eggplant. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring gently, until the eggplant is limp, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the chick peas, cover and simmer over low heat until the liquid thickens to a gravy and the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt to taste. Sprinkle the coriander over the top and serve.

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