Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ethiopian Eggplant Stew

I'm not a big fan of eggplant. It can tasty a little bitter, and the texture sometimes makes me quiver (I have texture problems). But, since I did pick up some discount eggplants at the grocery store I needed to find a dish to use them up. The result was actually very good (and the kids didn't even realize they were eating eggplant!). I also thought I would try a new method for the onions that I have seen in several Ethiopian recipes--dry frying them for 30 mins until a deep golden colour. If you want to skip this step, just saute in oil for 8-10 mins.

- 2 large red onions, halved and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1" piece of ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp allspice
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp berbere (or to taste)
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 tomato, small dice
- 1/4 cup red lentils
- 1 1/2 cup water (more, of needed)
- 2 cups chopped green beans
- salt, to taste

1. Heat a large non-stick pan (cast iron preferred) over medium heat. Add in onions and fry for 30 mins, stirring regularly, until a nice golden brown. When onions stick to much, deglaze the pan with a splash or two of water.
2. Add in garlic, ginger, and spices and mix well, until spices are fragrant. Add in margarine. When it melts, add carrots and eggplant. Fry for 5-7 mins, until eggplant begins to soften.
3. Add tomato, lentils, water, and beans and mix well. Bring to bubbling, then loosely cover and let simmer. The lentils will cook in 20 to 30 mins, but I cooked mine for about an hour, until the eggplant was really soft. Add water, if needed. Season to taste and serve with injera.


Krysta said...

Whoa! Whenever I hear someone complain of bitter eggplant I know they are skipping an important step in cooking my absolute favorite food. You must slice the eggplant and soak it in warm salty water for at least 10-15 minutes. You'll see a bunch of blackish stuff floating out of it. That cuts down on the bitter flavor. Also, selecting the proper eggplant is important as well, the more seeds, the more bitter. smaller eggplants generally have fewer seeds. Anyway, I can't wait to try this recipe! yum!

Hannah said...

Do you ever salt your eggplant before cooking it? I never have a problem with bitterness when I salt it, let it sit for 10-20 min, and rinse it.

Fayinagirl (means Free One) said...

I love Ethiopian food and this looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Tiffany C. said...

I have textural issues with eggplant as well, but your dish looks and sounds quite tasty.

Holly said...

This looks like a great recipe for me, since I have "texture problems" too, and eggplant is one of them. Don't even get me started on avocado (unless it's in sushi or guacamole) or cooked mushrooms!

small house said...

I think this is going to be effective for my children! They have problems eating vegetables! I got to try this! I hope they won't notice that it is eggplant.

Oraphan said...

I'm a huge fan of eggplant, I'll give this recipe a try for sure, YUM!

Super Mario said...

I am crazy over eggplants! I can perhaps cook several recipes using mainly eggplants.

Indivara said...

Do you happen to have a recipe for injera (sp?) because I would love to try making some.

Vegan Dad said...

I use the recipe in Vegan Lunch Box--quick, easy, and reliable. But, since it is a recipe in a cookbook, I can't post it here. I assure you the cookbook is totally worth the cost, if only for this recipe.

Jimmy said...

My son just hates eggplant and he hates it as much as I love the I have been looking for ways how to make these differences works - and yes, this recipe is great! Perhaps I will give it a try!

Kate said...

Holy crap, the berbere should come with a warning! I used a tablespoon like the recipe said, and it packs quite a punch! Maybe I'll use a teaspoon next time. :)

Rachel said...

This was amazing! I left the berebere powder out because I know my partner doesn't like cayenne, but even without it this was an amazing, fragrant and delicious dinner. I served it over rice.

misshendrie said...

I made this leaving out 1/2 of the black pepper and 7/8 of the cayenne in the berbere, and it was sooo spicy - I had to alternate with yoghurt to be able to eat it! Did I do something wrong or is Ethiopian food meant to set your mouth on fire?