Lately I seem to be going more toward cooking from actual recipes. It helps me not kill things (like the toasted millet pancakes we tried to make last weekend, operative word being Tried). This one is from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, which is pretty much my go-to for any Indian food. I mean, besides the internet.
This was exactly what I wanted. At first I had been all "aloo gobi!" but then realized I had eggplant as well. So I went through the book to see if there was anything with potato, cauliflower, and eggplant. There wasn't, but I found this instead. I decided not to make the cauliflower into additional roasty bits, which turned out to be an excellent idea due to eventual total fullness.
This business was super easy and tasty and cheap. It mostly requires sitting around while it cooks. Or, if you are me, you can make naan while it cooks. Rice would clearly work too.
Eggplant and potato business
cup of eggplant
cup of boiling potato
tasteless oil: safflower in my case
spices: brown mustard seeds, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, salt
Get out your eggplant and potatoes. I had redskin potatoes, because they are cheap and so am I. Also, they are delicious and so am I . Yes. I also had a seven or eight inch Italian eggplant. The varieties don't matter much here; you just need a roughly equal amount of each. Cube the eggplant; peel and cube the potato.
Warm a splash of oil in a pan over medium-high. Add a palmful or so of mustard seeds. After a minutes or two, the seeds will start to pop and splutter in the oil. Dump in your boardful of eggplant and potato. Stir to get the oil on everything. Now start spicing. The recipe wanted me to use coriander seeds, but ha ha! That is one whole spice I definitely never have in the house. So I used powdered, which worked fine. Of course, had I made this with full coriander seeds, I'd probably be raving about how completely perfect it was, but whatever. Use a lot of coriander, about half as much cumin, and small shakes of turmeric, cayenne, and salt.
Stir the whole business up and cook together for a minute or two. When all the spices are good and fragrant, add a couple splashes of water to the pan. Then put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down, and let everything cook together for fifteen minutes. Stir and check water level every once in a while. When the potatoes are done and the eggplant has melted into a beautiful oily pile, you're done. Put it in a bowl with lots of torn parsley. Yay!
I ate it with actual homemade whole wheat naan. I make mine from this formula. It's just how I like my recipes: inexact yet able to produce delicious results. In this circumstance, I forgot to put in the yogurt until I was kneading the dough, but it was not a disaster! I just threw the yogurt in a bowl with said dough and kneaded it in. Everything turned out great. Then I had the rest of my yogurt to throw over the bowl of potato and eggplant. It was an excellent plan.