Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Eggplant Curry with Apples, Fennel, and Cumin
I'd cook up a lot more Indian dishes if they didn't involve so many freaking ingredients. Everything that makes the different regional cuisines of India so fascinating also makes them nearly impossible to fit into Dinner Tonight's format. So I jumped all over this recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer the moment I saw just ten ingredients listed. The amount of flavor packed into this dish is astounding, and, luckily, it doesn't taste like a dumbed-down version of a more complex dish.
Though I was initially intrigued by the use of apple, because of the sweetness it might add, the flavor kind of gets lost amongst the stronger fennel and cumin, and that's fine. What the apple does add is a nice tartness, contributing to the slightly bitter tone of the dish. Don't be alarmed—Iyer did this on purpose, and he seems to take pleasure in admitting he loves it. It's traditional but may turn some people off. I, for one, ate about three servings. It tickled all the right taste buds.