While hunting around online for inspiration, I came across, of all things, Jamie Oliver's recipes for various curry pastes. I'll be honest, I don't know how authentic these are, but when it comes to curries, I definitely trust the British to steer me in the right direction.
I was particularly attracted to the deep red of the rogan josh curry paste - it looked spicy, rich, and delicious. The recipe, below, follows his very closely except I tripled the number of hot peppers, and futzed around with seasoning until it tasted right. I've also decreased the amount of garam masala because I think that flavor can really overpower everything if you're not careful. My research revealed that rogan josh is traditionally served with lamb, but I had other ideas. I got these cute mini eggplants from my CSA, and I figured they would be hearty enough to stand up to something that was meant to go with lamb. I was right! In fact, I ended up throwing just about everything but the kitchen sink into this baby, and it was a great success!
Eggplant Rogan Josh
For the curry paste:
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 5 " ginger
- 1/3 -1/2 jar of roasted red pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 fresh red chilis (with or without seeds - it depends on your pepperhead level)
- small bunch fresh coriander (aka cilantro)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
Next, blend everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Et voila! Curry paste to use in your very own yummy dishes!
For the dish: (these are approximate measurements - because you have so much curry paste made, you can put in more or fewer ingredients and adjust the amount of paste you use accordingly)
- 2 cups of eggplant, cubed and lightly salted. *Note - if you're using baby eggplant, you can leave the skin on, as it gets very tender. If not, remove the skin.
- 1-2 potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks, and blanched
- 1 package firm tofu, drained (paneer cheese would be fabulous here as well)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 - 1 cup plain yogurt
- handful of fresh cilantro
- 1-2 tbsp oil, butter, or ghee (I used ghee)
- salt and pepper, to taste
Add the eggplant and fry until tender.
Add the potatoes, continue stirring.
Add about a tbsp of the curry paste and stir for another few minutes
Mix the yogurt with enough water to form a buttermilk consistency and add to the pot.
Now add more curry paste according to your own taste. I used a lot!
Gently fold in the tofu and add your peas.
Reduce heat and simmer until everything is tender.
Add some of the fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasonings and curry/yogurt ratios.
Just look at that bubbling pot of goodness!
I served my rogan josh with an extra dollop of yogurt, a cilantro garnish, and long grain brown rice.