Since cooking is an obsession for me, it doesn't take much to inspire me: I am guilty of all of the above and then some. But more often then not, my culinary muses are the gorgeous bits of produce that call to me from farmers' markets and the vegetable stalls at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market. The colors, smells and textures accost my senses, and I experience a cook's version of Stendhal syndrome. My mind immediately starts "sketching" recipes.
|Protein-powerhouse: chickpeas, peanut butter and tofu in a creamy curry, over brown rice|
|Dry-frying tofu in a non-stick pan|
Silky Eggplant Satay Curry
- 4 small eggplants, cut in 1-inch cubes or if eggplants are small enough half moons
- 1 13-14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves , torn
- 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2-3 T red curry paste or to taste
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 3 T creamy peanut butter
- 1 potato, cubed
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 T agave nectar
- 1 pound tofu, pressed, cut into triangles and dry-fried [You can skip the dry frying if you're pressed for time, but the texture makes a huge difference]
- 1 can chickpeas, drained [Optional]
- Salt, to taste, plus extra for the eggplant
Serves 6 hungry people
Dry fry your tofu [Tutorial coming soon, I promise!].
Heat 3 T of the coconut milk over medium in a large pot. You will use this as you would use oil. Toss in the onion, garlic ginger and kaffir lime leaves and saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add curry paste – start with 1 T and gradually add more, to taste and cook another 5 minutes. Add peanut butter, stirring well to melt, then whisk in the rest of the coconut milk.
Add everything but the tofu and chickpeas, if using, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every once in a while. The curry is done when the eggplant is soft and the stew is silky smooth. Adjust seasonings. Serve over brown basmati or jasmine rice.