Now that I have been cooking and learning for the past 21 days, I am feeling a bit more confident to take on some challenging recipes.
I discovered that the difficult ones are challenging, but not impossible.
It’s just more lengthy and requires more ingredients. Another learning is that Indian cooking is far more forgiving – one can always salvage it. There is never a “now nothing can be done” moment which is great because mentally it feels like a safety net, which allows you to be adventurous
This serves 2 meals for 4 people.
I’ve explained it in two parts – one for making the paste (quite detailed but simple) and another for making the chicken and eggplant (it’s really easy!)
Ingredients for curry (chicken and eggplant is explained later)
1. 2 tsp coriander powder
2. 1/2 tsp haldi / turmeric powder
3. 2 tsp deghi mirch powder
4. 1 tsp salt
5. 1 cinnamon stick
6. 5-6 whole black pepper
7. 1 tbsp whole jeera
8. 1 tbsp whole rai / mustard seeds
9. 2 large dry chilli’s (whole)
10. 1/2 dry coconut
11. 2 cups coconut milk
12. Fist full of curry leaves
13. 1tbsp tamarind paste / sauce
14. 1/2 tsp sugar
15. 1 onion
16. 1 medium – large tomato
17. 5-6 tbsp oil
18. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
19. 2-3 tbsp milk
20. 3-4 pods garlic
Method for the paste :
1. Put 2 tbsp of oil in wok and heat on medium
2. Add the cumin / jeera and let it start spluttering. Add the black peppers and cinnamon. Stir for 20 seconds
3. Add the chopped garlic and fry it for 20 seconds. Then add a few curry leaves and fry it for one minute.
4. Now add the chopped onions and stir till it turns brown (4-5 min approx)
5. Add the turmeric/ haldi, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt . Stir it nicely for 1-2 minutes
6. Grate the coconut, add it and stir it for a couple of minutes. Let it cool
1. Heat pan/ tava. Add the 2 dry chilli’s and the whole tomato. Roast it gently – be careful that it doesn’ char.
2. Remove from pan and let it cool. Remove stem from the chilli’s and chop the tomato into large pieces.
1. Soak the poppy seeds in hot milk. Leave it for 15-20 minutes
2. Put everything from process 1 and 2 into a blender (mixie). Add very little water and blend
3. Then add the poppy seeds with the milk and blend till smooth.
4. Add 2-3 tsp of water if required. It may not blend in one go. Open the lid, stir, then close it. Blend. Repeat.
Process 4 (Final) :
1. Heat oil 3 tbsp of oil. Add rai / mustard seeds and curry leaves and let it fry for one minute.
2. Add the blended paste and stir. Don’t waste the paste left in the mixie. Put a bit of water, shake it and add to the wok. Cook for 10 minutes on low heat
3. Now add the 1 tbsp of tamarind sauce. Stir and check for salt and chilli. Add 1/2 tsp sugar
4. Add one more tbsp oil around the corners and stir for around 20 seconds. Then add coconut milk and let it cook for 3-4 minutes till well blended.
Voila! It’s done!
Chicken and eggplant
1. 500 g chicken
2. One medium round eggplant
3. 1 tsp ginger- garlic paste
4. 1 tsp oil
5. Pinch of salt, chilli powder and turmeric / haldi
Method for chicken
1. Cut chicken into 1” pieces and eggplant lengthwise into 1.5” pieces.
2. Put the chicken and the garlic ginger paste in a bowl and mix well.
3. Add oil to the wok and heat on medium flame
4. Add the chicken and cook it till halfway done (around 5-7 minutes). A fork will not go in smoothly
5. Add the eggplant and a pinch of salt, chilli powder and haldi / turmeric. Stir till nearly done – the eggplant will be slightly firm.
6. Then add chicken and eggplant to the curry and let it cook for about 7-10 min.
Enjoy with some rice!