Eggplant in Almond sauce

Eggplants, so happy in almond sauce…

I adore Indian eggplants, Japanese eggplants, Thai eggplants, Chinese eggplants, Korean eggplants, American eggplants, white eggplants, alright the bottom line I just love eggplants. I’ve gone crazy for almost all eggplant dishes, whether it’s eggplant rice, eggplant roast, grilled eggplant or stuffed eggplants.

This morning, I went for my weekend grocery shopping. I piled up my cart with fresh veggies, grains, chicken and some cosmetic stuffs too 🙂 This time I didn’t even look at the garden center as I cannot afford any more plants. After getting back home, first thing I had to do was cook some lunch for my starving hubby who looked so pale and exhausted. Well, I wasn’t in the mood for any major cooking, so whipped up chicken salad very quickly. After having lunch, I peeped into my refrigerator and my eyes fell on the gorgeous small eggplants. I couldn’t resist cooking with those right away. I took it out of the fridge and placed it on the island. I didn’t want to try any of the dishes that I had already tried. I got busy searching my pantry for some good ingredients to combine with eggplant. I kept looking at the jar of almonds and thought how about almond eggplant??? Sounded lil weird to me first, then this idea kept ringing in my head. Well, I went with my instinct, almond eggplant it is!!!

When the almond eggplant was all cooked to perfection, I couldn’t wait even for a minute to taste it. I did burn my tongue a bit, but it was worth it as this almond eggplant tasted delicious. I even gave some to my man who was busy watching TV, he tasted it and gave a thumbs up.

Eggplant in Almond sauce

Ingredients

  • Small eggplant whole- 10
  • Almond with skin, soaked in water- 1/2 cup
  • Ground pepper- 1/4 tsp

To roast:

  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 inch slice
  • Garlic, chopped- 3 cloves
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tbsp
  • Dry red chili whole- 2 or 3

For cooking:

  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Cardamom whole- 3
  • Cloves, whole- 3
  • Cinnamon, whole- 2 inch slice broken to small
  • Onion, chopped- 2 , large
  • Yogurt- 4 tbsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Salt- to taste

Instruction

  • Soak almonds in water for 30 minutes or more.
  • Use whole small eggplants, using a small knife make a slit on each eggplant. Make sure you don’t make the slit deep.
  • Season the eggplant with 1/4 tsp ground pepper and salt.
  • Place a large cooking pan over medium heat, add the seasoned eggplant in it, add 1/4 cup water and cook covered till eggplant are just tender. Don’t over cook it as we’ll be cooking it with the almond sauce later.
  • Once the eggplants turn tender, transfer to a bowl and keep aside.

To roast and grind:

  • Heat a small pan, add oil and add all the above mentioned ingredients to roast into the oil.
  • Saute till ginger and garlic turns light golden in color.
  • Remove from heat and let cool down a bit.
  • In a blender, add the roasted spices along with the soaked almonds (I didn’t remove the skin, if you want peel off the skin), add some water and grind it to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Making almond eggplant:

  • Heat a large non-stick cooking pan over medium heat.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil, add cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon to the oil, saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Add onions, 2 pinches of salt and cook covered till onions turn tender.
  • Add the ground almond paste to the cooked onions.
  • Add the yogurt as well to the pan.
  • Add some water to thin down the sauce and cook for a few minutes.
  • Now, add the cooked eggplants into the almond sauce and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add salt according to your needs.
  • If the sauce thickens, add some water and cook.
  • Occasionally, pour the almond sauce over the eggplants.
  • We need the eggplants to be in shape so don’t over cook it in the sauce as it will fall apart.
  • Taste, add more salt, ground pepper if required.
  • Garnish with cilantro, cook for a second and remove from the heat.
  • Keep aside covered for 5 minutes.
  • Serve in a bowl, and garnish with whole almonds.
  • This can be served with rice or roti.

Tips:

  • Make this same dish with chicken instead of eggplant, I’ve tried it and it tasted delicious 🙂

 

Eggplant in Almond sauce
 
Ingredients
  • Small eggplant whole- 10
  • Almond with skin, soaked in water- ½ cup
  • Ground pepper- ¼ tsp
To roast:
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Ginger, chopped- 2 inch slice
  • Garlic, chopped- 3 cloves
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds- ½ tbsp
  • Dry red chili whole- 2 or 3
For cooking:
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Bay leaves- 2
  • Cardamom whole- 3
  • Cloves, whole- 3
  • Cinnamon, whole- 2 inch slice broken to small
  • Onion, chopped- 2 , large
  • Yogurt- 4 tbsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Salt- to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak almonds in water for 30 minutes or more.
  2. Use whole small eggplants, using a small knife make a slit on each eggplant. Make sure you don't make the slit deep.
  3. Season the eggplant with ¼ tsp ground pepper and salt.
  4. Place a large cooking pan over medium heat, add the seasoned eggplant in it, add ¼ cup water and cook covered till eggplant are just tender. Don't over cook it as we'll be cooking it with the almond sauce later.
  5. Once the eggplants turn tender, transfer to a bowl and keep aside.
To roast and grind:
  1. Heat a small pan, add oil and add all the above mentioned ingredients to roast into the oil.
  2. Saute till ginger and garlic turns light golden in color.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool down a bit.
  4. In a blender, add the roasted spices along with the soaked almonds (I didn't remove the skin, if you want peel off the skin), add some water and grind it to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Making almond eggplant:
  1. Heat a large non-stick cooking pan over medium heat.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil, add cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon to the oil, saute for a couple of seconds.
  3. Add onions, 2 pinches of salt and cook covered till onions turn tender.
  4. Add the ground almond paste to the cooked onions.
  5. Add the yogurt as well to the pan.
  6. Add some water to thin down the sauce and cook for a few minutes.
  7. Now, add the cooked eggplants into the almond sauce and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Add salt according to your needs.
  9. If the sauce thickens, add some water and cook.
  10. Occasionally, pour the almond sauce over the eggplants.
  11. We need the eggplants to be in shape so don't over cook it in the sauce as it will fall apart.
  12. Taste, add more salt, ground pepper if required.
  13. Garnish with cilantro, cook for a second and remove from the heat.
  14. Keep aside covered for 5 minutes.
  15. Serve in a bowl, and garnish with whole almonds.
  16. This can be served with rice or roti.
Notes
Make this same dish with chicken instead of eggplant, I've tried it and it tasted delicious 🙂

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