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Creamy Coconut Curry Baigan (Eggplant) Recipe by Chef Shaun 🇹🇹


Curried Coconut Baigan; as we call here in T&T call it, is a flavourful and aromatic dish that combines the rich taste of coconut milk with the earthy notes of eggplant, all seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices. The eggplant absorbs the curry flavours and becomes tender, creating a harmonious balance of taste and texture. Additional ingredients such as onions, garlic, ginger, and various spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric contribute to the complexity of flavours.


Yield – 6 to 8 Servings


Ingredients


Mustard Oil- ¼ cup

Caripulee Leaves- 5 to 7

Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds- 1 tbsp

Cumin (Geera) Seeds- 1/2 tbsp

Onion- 3/4 cup (finely chopped)

Hot Pepper- to taste (finely chopped)

Finely Chopped Pimento- 1/4 cup OR 1 tbsp of

Dehydrated Pimento https://bit.ly/3MStEpj

Freeze Dried Culantro- ½ tbsp (OPTIONAL) https://bit.ly/3rhjC9A

Thyme to Lime- ¼ tsp (OPTIONAL) https://bit.ly/3rhjC9A

Ginger- 1 tbsp (finely chopped)

Garlic- ¼ cup (crushed + finely chopped)

Curry Powder- 2 tbsp

Water- ¼ cup

Coconut Milk- 16 fl. Oz (100g of Powdered Coconut

Milk + 14 fl. Oz of Water)

Cubed Melongene- 2 lbs

Tomato- 1 cup (diced)

Brown Sugar- 1 tsp

Lemon Juice- ½ tbsp

Salt- 1 tsp or to taste.

White Pepper- ¼ tsp or to taste

Chadon Beni- 1/3 cup (finely chopped)


Method


1. Start by preheating your medium sized pot over medium to high heat.

2. While that’s heating up, mix your water and curry powder.

3. Set aside.

4. Once pot is hot, add your oil.

5. When heated, add your methi, cumin, onion, hot pepper, pimento and chadon beni.

6. Reduce heat to medium and sauté until your onion becomes translucent (about 2 to 3 minutes).

7. Add your ginger and garlic and allow to cook until garlic begins to turn brown.

8. As it begins to turn brown, add your curry mixture.

9. Stir well to fully incorporate all ingredients and allow mixture to turn into a thick paste.

10. As it starts to stick to the bottom of your pot, add your coconut milk.

11. Allow your sauce to simmer and thicken for 5 minutes before adding your eggplant.

12. Once added, allow the eggplant to absorb the curry coconut sauce while cooking and becoming tender.

13. Halfway through its cooking, add your tomatoes.

14. When eggplant is fully cooked, add your remaining ingredients and taste.

15. Enjoy!


Tips/Fun Facts


1. Mustard oil adds depth & flavour to your dish.


2. Methi seeds & cumin seeds are a must for me in all my curries as they also elevate, add depth and complexity.


3. Sauteing these ingredients helps to open them up, releasing its flavor and infusing it into the oil.


4. Hydrating curry powders before cooking offers several benefits, including flavor infusion, aromatic release, uniform distribution, improved spice adherence, enhanced color, better oil absorption, and prevention of dryness. Creating a paste with water or other liquids helps release the full potential of the spices, resulting in a more flavorful and visually appealing dish.


5. Adding coconut milk to curry dishes enhances creaminess, balances spices, adds aromatic depth, imparts slight sweetness, acts as a natural thickening agent, provides dish versatility, and meets dietary considerations for vegan or vegetarian options.


6. Eggplant is often used as a meat substitute as it has a similar texture & absorbs flavours well.


7. Tomato has a mild and natural acidic flavor which helps to balance the sweetness of the coconut milk. It also adds another textural element to the dish and colour enhancement.


8. Balancing the five main flavors—salt, sweet, acid, heat, and umami—is crucial in creating well-rounded dishes. Salt enhances flavors, sweetness adds comfort, acidity provides brightness, heat adds warmth, and umami contributes savory depth. Achieving harmony involves gradual adjustments, considering individual ingredient characteristics, and tasting throughout the cooking process to suit preferences and achieve a balanced and delicious result.


9. Adding freshly cut chadon beni at the end takes full advantage of its aroma and fresh flavors.

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