Fried eggplant has a wonderful, silky texture and the turmeric enhances its golden colour. This is an oily dish but works well with the beef curry and sweet potato salad as they don't have a lot of oil. Curry leaves can be used fresh or dried but are more readily available dried from spice shops and selected food stores.
Photo: Marco del Grande
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- 2 medium eggplants, cut into 2cm cubes
- 1/2 tsp celery seeds
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 small red chilli, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 5 dried or fresh curry leaves
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Vegetable oil
Toss eggplant cubes in plenty of salt and leave to purge for 30-60 minutes.
Heat oven to 180C and toast celery seeds for 5 mins then cool. Or dry-fry seeds in a frypan until fragrant.
Meanwhile heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onions, garlic, chilli, turmeric, celery seeds, salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until onions are soft and spices fragrant (approx 25 minutes). Rinse salt from eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.
Take a medium-sized saucepan and fill one-third deep with vegetable oil. Heat the oil to high. Deepfry eggplant in batches so the oil doesn't overflow. Fry to a deep golden brown then place on some paper towel until all the eggplant is fried. Stir eggplant through onion mix, removing curry leaves before serving.