Curried Eggplant with Tomato and Basil

When I was in college, I made sure to hit up the salad bar every night. After swim practice, we all loaded up our trays and on my tray at least one corner had a little plastic bowl full of salad in it. The lettuce, though, was usually buried underneath a pile of chickpeas. Teammates and friends used to joke that I was having a little salad with my chickpeas, but I just couldn’t help it – they’re so good! So whenever I find a recipe that has chickpeas in them, I do my best to make it.

This recipe came from Real Simple magazine, which always seems to have such great (and usually pretty easy) recipes. Hmm, maybe the title of the magazine lends to the easy, or should I say, simple recipes. I was lucky enough to score a subscription to the magazine after my friend got me the bridal edition. I look forward to each issue!

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began cooking with curry, and I LOVE it. Now that we don’t have any neighbors upstairs, downstairs, etc. we don’t have to worry about “stinking” up the place with our cooking. I think all aromas coming from the kitchen are great, aside from the garbage of course. Now that I have curry powder, Thai red curry, and a big bag of garam masala, I have every intention of adding to that collection and making more curry-based dishes.

I was able to put this all together post-gym since I didn’t get up early enough to run Tuesday morning (but I did Monday!). Being able to have the rice cook while taking care of everything else was definitely helpful. In addition to the regular recipe, I added some dried red chilis to the mix. My fiancé decided to throw some hot sauce we recently got from Serial Baker during her trip to California, and he over did it. I stuck to a squirt of Sriracha and was fine, while he was guzzling water. Oops!

Next on my chickpea to make list is RhodeyGirl’s Chickpea fries. I just need to figure out how to prevent oil from flying all over the counters as well as my arms.

Curried Eggplant with Tomato and Basil
– Serves 4 –

1 cup white basmati rice
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek), optional

1. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rice, 1 ½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir the rice once, cover, and reduce heat to low.
2. Simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
5. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Stir in the chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes.
7. Remove the vegetables from heat and stir in the basil. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the vegetables over the rice with yogurt, if using.

2 thoughts on “Curried Eggplant with Tomato and Basil

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