Sometimes I just buy vegetables at the store that look good. So this night, I had a very pretty Japanese eggplant and a bunch of tomatillos. I don’t recall having ever seen a curry recipe that called for tomatillos, but I just applied some basic Indian cooking logic (which has been a long time coming).
- 1/4 tsp. mustard seeds (I prefer black)
- 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 – 3 small dried red peppers (I used Thai; chile pequin would work also)
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 – 2 shallot, chopped
- 2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
- 2 green onions (whites and greens separated)
- 4 – 5 tomatillos, chopped
- 1 Japanese eggplant, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Water or chicken stock, as needed
- 2 green chiles (I used serranos), finely diced
- Toast spices and peppers in a dry pan until they begin to pop (about 2 minutes); grind spices in a spice mill, mortar and pestle, or molcajete. They should be a fine dust. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok. Sweat onions for a minute or two; add ground spices. Fry onions until they turn translucent. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, and white part of chopped green onion. Saute for several minutes.
- Add chopped tomatillos and saute over high heat until tomatillos begin to break down (about 4 or 5 minutes).
- Remove mixture from heat; blitz in a food processor or blender until a thick sauce is formed. Set aside.
- Wipe out pan. Heat 2 – 3 tbls. oil and add eggplant. Add salt and oil as needed. Fry eggplant until skin begins to blister.
- Add back in tomatillo and onion mixture. Add in red bell pepper and simmer over low heat for several minutes.
- To serve, stir in chopped green onions and spoon over basmati rice. Top with chopped green chiles, to taste. Time allowing, it would also be good with dal and naan bread (but that’s a weekend meal).
Beer Pairing: A dry IPA. I had Independence Brewing Co.’s Stash IPA.