Eggplant Curry with Thai Kettle Rice Cakes
This late night photo really doesn't do this delicious eggplant curry justice. It was awfully good and, no those aren't rice krispies on top, those are crumbled fresh Thai Kettle Rice Cake.
I'm not a big rice cake fan, but after a taste of these amazing fresh rice cakes at my local farmers market, I was hooked. $4 for four large cakes, but they are an amazing treat. They really melt in your mouth!
Here's a close-up so you can see how delicate they are:
And, bagged with the label (in case you're a local and want to find out how you can try them!).
The eggplant curry was based on a recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I recently borrowed this from the library, and it took me only a few brief moments to decide to order my own copy. I'm not a big fan of the massive, comprehensive cookbook, and I almost never buy cookbooks without beautiful photographs of the food (no photos in this book), but this one just has such a lot to offer. More than simply lots of recipes (and variations), the book also has tips, ideas, and instructions on technique. This would be a perfect gift for a fledgling vegetarian, but also has a lot to offer for veterans.
Anyway, back to the eggplant curry...
This was very simple and I really kept the amount of oil down (1 1/2 tsp). It, therefore, didn't have the indulgent oily richness of many restaurant eggplant dishes and the eggplant maintained some of it's fluffy texture. I used only the smallest amount of light coconut milk also, so the result was dry rather than creamy, but it packed a lot of taste. I thought about adding smoked tofu, but decided it would be better with a lighter, fluffier tofu and smoked was all I had. A few salty peanuts were added for protein.
Eggplant Curry with Crumbled Rice Cakes:
1 large chinese eggplant, sliced, then each slice cut into quarters
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 inch cube of peeled ginger, cut into tiny dice
1 tsp garam masala (or curry powder)
1/4 cup light coconut milk
chopped cilantro (1-2 TBS, or as desired)
Thai Kettle rice cakes or serve over rice
Salt the eggplant and leave in a colander for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute over medium low heat. Add the ginger, cook about 30 seconds, then add the garam masala. Add the eggplant and cook for 6- 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and coconut milk and cook an additional 6-8 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro right at the end.