India is a wonderfully diverse country. It’s cuisine is no exception. Every region has its own unique cuisine and Southern India is by far my favorite. The vegetarian dishes are diverse, edgy, colorful, and would make any foodie proud. Suddenly I was immersed in to a world of exotic leaves and spices I had never heard of. But ten years later I know my way around an Indian grocery store like no one’s business.
If you have gluten allergies 90 percent of Indian food is naturally gluten free. There are very few dishes that have gluten besides their breads. If so this is an excellent cuisine to get to know better. Their spices pack a health boosting punch.
While we continue to ponder how to meld the best of east and west together, one thing is for certain: indian food is here to stay. According to the husband he wants pie to stick around as well.
Eggplant Pecan Curry
Eggplant dishes were a mainstay on our dinner table in the summer, when our garden produced an abundant crop of the lovely purple vegetables. This is a tasty way to use the bounty from your garden or the local farmer’s market.
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1 cup chopped chives
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. hot chili powder
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ lb. eggplant, cubed
1 clove minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 large ripe tomato, peeled and minced
In medium saucepan, sauté ginger and chives in oil for approximately 5 minutes. Add salt and seasonings and sauté 5 minutes longer, gradually stirring in water to make smooth sauce.
Stir in eggplant and garlic. Cover and cook, over medium heat for 15 minutes.
Add bell pepper and tomato and cook 10 minutes more.
Serve over rice sprinkled with toasted pecans. Serve with chutney and raita (recipe below).
Raita: (combine all ingredients and chill until ready to serve)
2 cups greek yogurt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chopped fresh fennel fronds
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt to taste