Bangin' Baingain Curry
I live right near Curry Hill (the Indian section of Murray Hill). It’s an embarrassment of riches of amazing vegetarian (even Jain) restaurants, specialty stores and spice markets. I was going to order Baingain Bartha from Dhaba or Bhatti as I do almost every Friday, until I had a sudden attack of “The Cheaps”. Rather than spending $35 on a takeout dinner for two, I figured I could eat like a champ for a week for a couple of bucks. There was also the added bonus of choosing my own spice level. Check it out.
1 big ass onion (50 cents)
6 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 lbs tomatoes (can of San Marzano Tomatoes $2.50)
2 t garam masala
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1 t paprika
1 t curry powder
1 t fenugreek
½ C almonds
3 small eggplants, medium dice (I paid $2)
1 lb Okra, sliced into 1” rounds (also $2)
2 C chick peas (99 cents)
2 C sweet peas (79 cents)
½ C water (free from the tap)
1 bunch cilantro (I paid $2. You can do better)
Preheat oven to 400F. Roast eggplants whole for 15 minutes
Combine tomatoes, onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processer. Process until you have a smooth-ish cooking base (no big chunks)
Pour the cooking base into a large saucepan and heat on medium.
Add spices to the pot and stir it up.
Add the eggplant, okra, almonds, peas and water. Stir to combine.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning (add a bunch of salt)
Chop the cilantro and top each bowl with a little.
This will make 10-12 servings. It’s awesome hot over rice or quinoa or cold on a piece of bread like Indian-ish bruschetta