from: Eastern Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering
Mchuzi wa Biringani (Eggplant Curry)
Eggplant -- called Aubergine in Europe, Garden Egg or Guinea Squash in Western Africa, and Brinjal in India -- is native to Asia, and has long been used in Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisine. The Swahili word for eggplant is Biringani, and Mchuzi wa Biringani (Eggplant Curry) is a favorite of the Swahili people all along the coast of Eastern Africa.
What you need
- a few tablespoons cooking oil
- two onions, chopped
- one or two teaspoons curry powder -- or -- similar amount of a combination of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cardamom, et cetera
- two cloves of garlic, minced
- one spoonful of grated ginger (powdered ginger is different, but acceptable)
- one or two hot chile peppers, cleaned and chopped
- two large eggplants, or several small ones; chopped, lightly salted, and squeezed to partially remove moisture
- three or four potatoes, chopped (optional)
- two or three tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- one small can or tomato paste (optional)
- salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
- quarter teaspoon of sugar (optional)
- one cup milk, coconut milk (see the note about coconut milk on the Wali wa Nazi recipe page), or yogurt (optional)
What you do
- Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onions for a few minutes, then add curry powder, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper. Continue frying over high heat for a few more minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add eggplant and potatoes (if desired). Stir and fry until eggplant begins to brown. Reduce heat. Simmer for ten minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste. Adjust seasoning. Simmer until sauce is thickened and everything is tender.
- Stir in milk, coconut milk, or yogurt (if desired) just before serving. Serve with Chapati or Rice.
Ground or minced meat -- cooked separately with lime juice (or vinegar) and the same spices -- is often added along with the eggplant.
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