I was psyched about this recipe from the get-go. I have a growing affection for vegetarian Indian cuisine, and thought the pairing of sweet potato and eggplant couldn't possibly go wrong. This recipe also included a heartwarming little story of a guest bringing this meal over with a few roses for the author, Aum Shanti. I was so locked in that I didn't bother to read the specifics—and when the finished dish emerged, it was a perfectly dry mix of sautéed vegetables. It wasn't repulsive, but nothing was really there to bring it all together.
I'm not terribly knowledgeable about Indian food, but the result was a little disorienting. The mixture was just too dry. I ate most it, checking it off as a minor disappointment. Of course, I didn't read that it was supposed to cool out for 30 minutes before digging in. After the wait, the result is definitely more interesting. The spices get time to hang around, and delicately infuse each bite. This still reminds me more of a great side, then a full fledged meal. But still, give it time, and all will be fine.
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound of spinach
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Toss in the spinach, and cook for 30 seconds. Drain in a colander, and press try with paper towels. Roughly chop the spinach.
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, and let cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the garlic and cumin and let them cook for 1 minute.
Dump in the sweet potato, stir well, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the eggplant, spinach, salt, curry powder, and turmeric powder. Cook until the eggplant is tender, about 8 minutes or so.
Turn off the heat, and transfer mixture to a bowl. Garnish with cilantro and set aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors mingle. Best served at room temperature.