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.