I am a hunter. Not a real hunter but a bargain hunter. I despise shopping but let me loose in a Buy the Pound, Salvation Army or street/yard sale and I'll see ya in three hours. I broke down and bought a pair of fancy shoes yesterday which I desperately needed and when the man at the cash asked me if I wanted to be on their mailing list for monthly deals, I looked at him and said "i buy one pair of shoes like every eight years so I'm not really your ideal customer...". He laughed and thought I was kidding. I don't buy a lot of new things because I don't need a lot. I also believe in recycling and can't wrap my head around buying new when there is so much great old out there. I buy certain things new cause I just can't find them used.
Anywho, where was I going with this. I was at the vegetable market near my house last weekend and I came across these three huge eggplants that were in a pile of reduced to clear produce. I felt kindda sad, they were perfectly fine minus a few bruises here and there and some slimy bits at the top and yet the whole huge bag was going for a meagre $1. Somebody out there grew these eggplants, packed them and sent them across the globe to my market stand and I was going to eat them.
Here's a recipe for an Eggplant Curry that is pretty darn delicious. I made it on Sunday afternoon and ate it for dinner all week and everyday it just got better and better.
2 to 3 tbsp butter or oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds (I used cumin powder because I didn't have seeds, worked fine)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 medium eggplants, cut into 1 inch cubes
water, as needed
2 cups frozen or fresh peas
optional but definitely encouraged, 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, minced
optional but definitely encouraged, 1 tbsp plain yogurt for garnish
1) Heat butter or oil over medium heat in a very large, deep skilled or dutch oven. Add seeds and saute until they begin to pop ( 5 minutes)
2) Add onion, salt, turmeric and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
3) Add eggplant. Cook, stirrring from the bottome regularly for 15 to 20 minutes-until the eggplant is soft. You might need to add a little water if the mixture is too dry. Cover the pan between stirrings.
4) Throw in the peas and allow to cook 3-5 minutes until bright green. Serve the curry over rice, topped with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.
All in all this recipe cost me $3 and some cents divided by the number of meals it made (4) it roughly cost me 0.78 cents for dinner. Not too bad for some slimy eggplants.
Next time you're at the produce stand check out your reduce to clear section. You just might have the makings of a great dinner in your hands.