Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Mrs. Plant's version of Jamie Oliver's Stuffed Curried Eggplant

1 onion, chopped into chunks
4 cloves garlic
1 T crushed ginger
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves (save a few pieces for garnish)
1-2 fresh red chillies, seeded (I used a red Fresno pepper)
1 tsp each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ground turmeric, garam masala
2 heaping T natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 T mango chutney (you can just buy a jar in the Indian section of your grocery store)
2 T tamarind paste
salt to taste
Approx. 800 grams of Asian or Indian eggplant - I used FOUR 8-9" long Asian eggplants and sliced them Hasselback-style
1  can of lite coconut milk
8 oz ripe mixed-colour cherry or grape tomatoes
2 T chopped dry-roasted peanuts (for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 

Place onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor along with the cilantro and pepper. Whiz into a fine paste. Set aside.

In a large skillet, add the spices on a low heat and dry-fry for 1 minute, or until is smelling fantastic, stirring constantly. Add in the paste and cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the peanut butter, mango chutney, tamarind paste, and season with sea salt. Add a small amount of water so the paste isn't too thick. Turn off heat and set aside.

Leaving them intact at the stalk, cut the eggplants into quarters lengthways (if using small Indian eggplants) or slice them like you would Hasselback potatoes along the width from end to end, with about 1/4 inch of space between each slice (for the longer Asian eggplants). Only slice down about 3/4 into the eggplants. Arrange the sliced eggplants in a casserole dish. Top with the spiced paste (spread evenly) and the cherry/grape tomatoes. Bake UNCOVERED for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes have roasted down. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Remove the casserole from the oven and pour the can of lite coconut milk over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle with a few more pinches of salt. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, removing the foil halfway. 

Serve with cooked Basmati or brown rice and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Reheats beautifully in microwave.

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