Sunday, November 1, 2009

Green Beans, Potatoes and Eggplant

Indian Gr beans, originally uploaded by Kim De.

Finally I am able to get back into my kitchen to do some cooking. First up is food for a football game today. Indian Food.

I am so lucky to have a great Indian cook in my house! I love to serve as his assistant, helping an learning. Last night we made a vegetable curry to eat while watching football today - Bo always makes Indian food in advance so the flavors have time to meld. It has always worked!

Dont be afraid to try Indian food (eating or cooking!) The list of ingredients can look daunting, but really it is mostly spices an once you stock up on them, it easy to make the dishes.

Now I know this isnt the prettiest dish ever, but is is certainly one of the tastiest and definitely one of the healthiest!

This is a good one to try if you are new to Indian cooking- no Indian spices are used, just chiles and cilantro. Serve it with rice and plain yogurt if it is too spicy for you. Feel free too cut back on the heat by using one chile to start, upping the ante the next time you try it.

Green Beans, Potatoes and Eggplant with a Cilantro-Onion Sauce (Adapted from 660 Curries)

1 large tomato, cored and coarsely chopped
1 medium-size red onion, coarsely chopped
½ cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
4 fresh green Thai, cayenne or serrano chiles, stems removed
1 large white potato, such as russet or Yukon Gold, peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning
2 tablespoons canola oil
12 small purple Indian (or 1 large Italian) eggplants (about 1½ pounds total), stems removed, cut into pieces 2 inches long, 1-inch wide, and ½- inch thick
4 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt

Plop the tomato into a blender jar, and then add the onion, cilantro, and chiles. If the tomato is juicy, it will provide ample liquid for the blender blades to function. If it isn’t, you might need to add ¼ cup water. Puree to form a light purple-red sauce with flecks of green.

Drain the potato and pat it dry with paper towels.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add the potato and stir it around. Cover the pan to contain the spattering, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato cubes are evenly browned with a slightly crispy skin, 5–10 minutes.

Pour in the sauce, and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it, releasing any browned bits of potato. Stir in the eggplant, green beans and salt. Heat to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are fork-tender, 20–25 minutes. Serve.

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