Cauliflower & Eggplant Curry

Curry leaves have been a mystery to me.

 

This only means it’s a #strangebutgood creation WAITING to happen.

This actually isn’t so strange.  It’s just outside of my culinary comfort zone (yes, I do have one).  I’ve always loved using Indian spiced in my dishes.  Ginger is a staple – I once made this Ginger Tempeh Stir-Fry every night for a week.

At restaurants, I love to order the curry; however, I’ve never tried my hand at making my own.  Having seen curry leaves at my local farmer’s market, my curiosity finally got the best of me.  Curry dinner = ON.

curry leaves

 

Curry leaves sort of look like bay leaves.  This begs several questions: Do you eat them?  Are they just for flavor?  Do you decorate with them?  Can you dry them?  

It turns out, you can eat them.  And they don’t have to be fried in oil first (a popular preparation in Indian restaurants).  I also read that you can freeze them.  I’ll have to report on that later.

Cauliflower & Eggplant Curry

 

Back to my dish.  It was amazing.  I know it’s wrong to brag… but seriously.  I wish I had made 3 pots of this stuff.  Actually, I kind of did.  This is by far my most-tested recipe.  How come research wasn’t this much fun in college?  

I worried about the flavors – there are a lot of spices in this!  Too much of this, not enough of that… and finally… juuuuust right!  I was amazed.  The list is long, but it does come together quickly.  Just line up your spices and dump ‘em in the pot!  The curry leaves add an awesome dimension, but if you can’t find it don’t worry.  These spices are enough to stand alone.

Cauliflower & Eggplant Curry

 

I’ve made this several times now, with full-fat coconut milk and with the light stuff.  It is still ok with light, but it’s 100x more flavorful with the real deal.  You can also use different veggies and protein.  I’m a huge cauliflower fan, so that’s been my favorite.  The recipe below uses Swordfish, but I like it just as much with Escolar (fish) , chicken, and tempeh.

Like all good meals, this is best enjoyed with a good friend (who gave her stamp of approval) on a patio followed by a walk in the sunshine.  Spring has sprung.

Cauliflower & Eggplant Curry

These leftovers are what’s making my Monday Marvelous.

That plus a hair cut and a clean house (a.k.a. best money I ever spent). ;)

Marvelous Monday

________________________________________________________________________________________

Cauliflower Eggplant Curry

Cauliflower & Eggplant Curry

  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 C tomato paste
  • 1/2 large eggplant, diced (~1.25 cups)
  • 8 oz Swordfish (or other protein)
  • 1/2 C coconut milk
  • 200 g cauliflower florets (~1 small head)

 

Place the dry spices in a medium-size pot and toast over medium heat until fragrant, ~2-3 mins or until they start to pop.

Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and ginger.  Stir to coat in spices and cook until the onion is soft.  Stir in the curry leaves and tomato paste.

Add fish and eggplant to the sauce.  Pour in the coconut milk and cook until the eggplant is soft and fish is cooked through (~7-8 mins).

Finally, add in the cauliflower florets. Season and cook for a few more minutes until tender.

Spoon into plates and enjoy!

Makes 2-3 servings.

Note: This could easily be made vegan by eliminating the fish, or using lentils or tempeh instead.

***

Last week is was Indian Bison Burger creations, this week curry… my sister’s in India and it apparently causes me to crave Indian food.  LOL!

What recipe have you worked the hardest on to perfect?

Do you like Indian food?  Have you ever had curry leaves? 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Oh my. Can you please feed me right now?! I love using eggplant and cauliflower is something I’m trying to force myself to like…so this looks like something I really do need!

    • Laura says

      LOL! Sure… come on over! This might be a good cauliflower experiment for you – with all the spices the cauliflower doesn’t taste strong at all.

  2. says

    I love curry. I’ve made it a few times from scratch (one of the only ways I can get my husband to eat cauliflower), but I’ve never used curry leaves. Your recipe looks wonderful.

  3. says

    Oh wow! This looks really, really good!
    I adore eggplant and coconut milk and well, curry so this is a winner!!
    I honestly don’t make curry that often for some reason, but yah, definitely need too!
    I also got my hair cut this weekend, totally feels amazing after having it uncontrollable mess for a while ;)

  4. says

    I love Indian food! And the fact that there are tons of meat-free Indian dishes, too. Thankfully, there’s an amazing Indian restaurant in our area. We are regulars, of course.
    I’ve never used curry leaves, guess I need to look for them.
    My recipes are never perfect.

    • Laura says

      So many of the Indian restaurants aroud here are vegetarian – I ate a TON of ethnic food when I was eating a plant-based diet, actually.

  5. says

    I like curry leaves and we still have a stash in the freezer. We just pluck a few for each recipe and they are as good as fresh. :) This curry looks very delicious and I hope to be able to convince Rob to make it for me. Yum! :)

  6. says

    I didn’t even know that curry leaves existed… Which probably shows you how often I eat Indian food. Actually I don’t even think I’ve ever had authentic Indian food. It’s the spices that scare me – my stomach isn’t a fan.

    • Laura says

      I’m always nervous for you and Parita to read posts where I try my hand at Indian food. Can I visit your grandma? ;)

  7. says

    I’ve never even seen curry leaves, but now i will be on the hunt for them! This looks like a very “Lauren” type of recipe/dinner here- I’ve made similar creations many times, and can almost taste this right through the screen.
    I loooove Indian food- but it’s something I rarely go out for (I typically just make a stir-fry bowl at home).

  8. says

    I do love Indian food . . . and make a curry dish about once every other week. Actually, for my lunches this week, I made a bottle of curry salad dressing. So good. But I had no idea there were curry leaves. I thought curry referred to a blend of Indian spices. Very interesting!! If I ever see some, I’ll definitely give them a try.

  9. says

    Yum and yum! I love curry and almost had it for dinner last night, but my hunger level was too high to wait 30 minutes. I actually have a head of cauliflower that I had no idea what to do with so thanks for the idea!

  10. says

    Oh Indian food, it used to scare me with its massive long list of ingredients. You’re right somehow it all just comes together and it’s actually not too hard. I remember trying to make Chicken Biryani and there’s just so much to it in addition to the spices. I’m yet to master making that! Too bad it uses white rice… but I did see Biryani brown rice at Whole Foods ;)

    • Laura says

      I’ve become such a spice whore that the long lists don’t seem like much. Often I make my own blends though – then it’s even easier to toss into dishes!

  11. says

    I find it amazing how different all of our childhoods have been in terms of the foods we eat/are comfortable with, and how culture affects this. Australia is so vibrantly multicultural that I grew up eating very diverse flavours and making curry pastes from scratch, and yet things like macaroni and cheese, PB&J sandwiches, biscuits nad gracy, etc were unfamiliar to me.

    End ramble.

    • Laura says

      That is really funny… I don’t remember the first time I had curry, but it certainly wasn’t a childhood dish!

  12. says

    Totally had curry twice this last week! Once at a restaurant, then once as soon as I got back from traveling, to break in a new beautiful pot I received! I LOVE it (obviously)!! All this is to say, we should be eating together, because I want your curry now :)

  13. Brooke says

    Love curry, love garam masala, love cauliflower, love eggplant,…yep, I’m in love with this dish already!

    • Laura says

      I still need to try yours… or you can make it for me when I move in with you… I mean… visit again…

  14. says

    Never heard of curry leaves!… Seem to be quite the find. Lucky you. I’ll keep my eye out.. I have also never heard of fenugeek. Indian spice?

  15. says

    I never actually thought about what curry is made of but i would have never thought of leaves. Bark maybe, but not leaves. But yeah, curried eggplant does taste good. I remember when i would never eat eggplant, or onions, or lots of vegetables. Lol. Thankfully as I got older everything healthy started tasting good. Thank God

  16. says

    SWEET!! I may not have the curry leaves, but I DO have some fenugreek (thank you Dekalb farmers market)…and the swordfish will be a MUST for sure! Meg’s been plastering it all over her IG feed this week and I’ve been drooling all over it! Mmmm, butter fish!!! Lol

    I think out of all my recipes, I worked the hardest on my coconut fig muffins…because I had no idea WHAT I was doing…oh, and I totally suck at baking. Yeah, that’s the main thing!

    • Laura says

      Clearly you need to come back so you can pick up curry leaves too. ;)

      I call swordfish the steak of the sea. It happens every week here – so delicious even with just some lemon, pepper, and rosemary!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] my defense, this #strangebutgood creation doesn’t actually involve Indian flavors (for a change).  Unless you count cinnamon and ginger, but I put those on basically everything. Several weeks [...]

  2. [...] I’ve been craving eggplants lately, probably due to a certain beautiful curry recipe. [...]

  3. [...] class was taught by Chef Asha Gomez, a lady I admire and respect  (she inspired me to try curry leaves!).  She owns Cardamom Hill, one of the best Indian restaurants in Atlanta.  She focuses on [...]

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