Nayomi Munaweera's Caramelized Eggplant Curry
Recipe type: Vegetable
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
This dish will not look pretty. It's also lot of hard work. But I promise you it's absolutely worth the labor. It's one of the crowning achievements of our cuisine and even people who hate eggplant, such as myself, adore this dish. When I cook for my friends, this is the dish that's always clamored for. Enjoy with rice and other dishes such as lentil curry, salmon curry, coconut sambol, or kale malum.
- 1 pound eggplant
- ½ pound red onions, sliced in thin rings
- ¼ pound small green chilies, cut lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons crushed dried red chilies
- 10 cloves finely chopped (paste) garlic
- Small nub of ginger, peeled
- ⅓ cup coconut vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 3 tsp finely powdered black mustard seed
- 5 tsp sugar
- 2 cloves, chopped
- 2 cardamoms, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Coconut or veg oil to deep fry
- Cinnamon stick
- ⅔ can coconut milk
- Cut eggplant into slim sticks (the size of your little finger).
- Deep fry—this will reduce the volume of the eggplant significantly. Use a deep fryer or fry in a wok until the sticks are crispy. Drain on layers of newspapers to get excess oil off and put aside.
- In a different frying pan, fry onions for about two minutes. Add green chilies and crushed dried red chili and sauté until onions are limp.
- In a food processor, mix garlic, mustard seed, ginger nub, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, cloves, cardamom and a little water into a puree. Add this paste to the fried onion mix and stir well.
- Add the deep fried eggplant and cinnamon stick; stir well on medium heat until everything is uniform. Adjust salt to taste.
- Reduce heat to low, add coconut milk. Coconut milk turns the curry creamy and it also deglazes the pan. Enjoy!