The thing you will learn about any curry is, once you have all the spices on hand they are very easy to make. It's also easy to mix up the combination of spices and the variety to get a completely different flavour. Stock your cupboard with the essentials and have some fun!
I wanted to make a vegetarian meal. I also wanted something that was healthy and yet had some great flavour. This was very easy to make and it was delicious. I have used this same spice combination with chicken before, so I thought I would try it out with eggplant and lentil. You can serve this with a rice of your choice. I think it would go nicely with wild rice or brown Basmati rice, although we ate it as is and it was tasty and filling.
2 cups water
1 cup green lentils
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used organic sunflower)
1/2 can diced tomotoes
1" fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon chili pepper (or cayenne)
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cardamon pods, seeds only
optional - 2 fresh hot red chili peppers, sliced with seeds in
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
Put diced eggplant in a colander and cover with salt. This draws out excess moisture and reduced the bitterness of the eggplant. Set aside for about 30 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry with paper towel.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once it begins to smoke add the eggplant and pan fry until golden brown. Set aside.
In the same frying pan add the remaining oil and heat until smoking. Add onion, ginger and garlic to the pan and fry until golden brown. Add all seasonings to the pan and continue to fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, water and lentils to the pan. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low. Add eggplant and simmer for about 25 minutes or until lentils are cooked, eggplant is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Top with fresh cilantro and serve.