I’m not a picky eater, and there are so many foods out there that I enjoy. This week I’m getting a real package deal with this Curried Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Cardamom and Coconut Milk recipe. It has tons of vegetables, herbs, and spices that I love, like, and am learning to like (I’m looking at you, tomatoes). But what really has me all atwitter is the chance to use smoked black cardamom pods again. I first tried it in Egg and Potato Curry (Anday Aloo Ka Salan), but I haven’t gotten the opportunity to use it since. Black cardamom has a unique smokey taste, and I’m looking forward to finding out what it’s like in this curried eggplant recipe.
A flavorsome vegetable curry.
Finding the ingredients for this curry would normally be fairly easy, but I’m writing this at the beginning of March, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic made finding fresh vegetables a challenge at my usual grocery stores. They had eggplant and yogurt, but little else. Fortunately, I ventured out to a small local chain called Broward Meat and Fish, and they were well-stocked. I felt so relieved and grateful to find them!
I’m guessing the most difficult items to find would normally be the dried spices. If your local store doesn’t carry them, you can always order them online. Amazon is my go-to for most everything, and they have a big selection:
This curried roasted eggplant recipe has a lot of ingredients, and it looks complicated. If I’m completely honest, it was a good deal of work. However, the instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I had my curry and rice ready in the time specified–1 hour and 5 minutes.
The only thing I had difficulty with was roasting the eggplant. I had two sheet pans of cubed eggplant to roast, and splitting 3 tablespoons of olive oil between the two didn’t seem like enough. I used that amount for each pan and made sure to toss it well.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep it from sticking even on nonstick sheet pans, and I pretty much demolished those neat little cubes when I tried to turn them in the middle of baking. I ended up with some cubes and some mush, but it didn’t ruin the curry.
Looking back, it might have been because I peeled the eggplant. I just re-visited the author’s site and say she didn’t peel hers. Next time I’ll try spraying the baking sheets with olive oil before adding the eggplant to see if that helps.
While the eggplant was in the oven, I got out a 5-quart Dutch oven to start the curry. While the onion and spices cooked, I finished prepping the rest of the ingredients. Chopping vegetables, opening the can of coconut milk, and grinding the rest of the spices in a coffee grinder I reserve for spices.
Once the curry was assembled and simmering, it was onto the rice. My 2.5-quart saucepan was the perfect size (it was a lot of rice!). With both the rice and curry cooking, I had time to prep the mint leaves and cilantro, put the yogurt into a small dish, and even wash some dishes. Honestly, a somewhat intimidating recipe with a lot of ingredients and steps turned out not to be so hard.