I discovered lately that the Hindi word for eggplants is ‘baingan'. You know what this means? Baingan is supposedly a word of abuse; derogatory in nature and often used to express an ill-feeling or something without merit - can you beat that?
It's quite disheartening to know that eggplants have for a long time been misunderstood as a no-good, non-nourishing food. Eggplants are brimming with awesome nutrients and health benefits, and are not just nourishing but also a dynamic super-food that should grace your table regularly. Read more on (The Nutrition and Health Benefits of Eggplants) here. However, to get the most of these benefits, do avoid deep frying them. It's best to bake, cook, grill or stir-fry eggplants. Any of these helps to cultivate their nutrients as much as possible.
Eggplants are native to the Asian continent - especially India- but are fast becoming a part of many intercontinental cuisines the world over. They're incredibly versatile and work well in everything from Italian to Asian recipes. And they sure make a tasty substitute for meat too!
Let's make something mouth-watering.
- 4 Eggplants, chopped
- 600g beef, trimmed and cut into pieces
- 8 Fresh Tomatoes
- Five chilli peppers
- Two garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 Tbs ground ginger
- 1 Tsp ground turmeric
- 1 Tsp ground cumin
- 5-6 Fresh Tomatoes, ripe and chopped
- 2 Spoons any heart friendly oil of choice
Season diced meat (here's when to add your turmeric) in a medium size pot and cook.
While the meat cooks, blend tomato and pepper into a paste then set aside.
Heat a half cooking spoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add half the chopped eggplant and sauté for just about 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Add the remaining oil to the pan on medium low heat. Add the onion into the pan and stir until translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander and other spices. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.
Next, add the tomato-pepper paste and cook. Ensure to stir well so as to combine properly. Add the beef, diced tomato and some stock into the pan. Taste for salt, season and adjust accordingly with salt if necessary. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, occasionally stirring, for 25-30minutes. Add the sautéed eggplant into boiling stew, leave uncovered and cook for another 15 minutes.
Stir in the parsley leaves last and serve with rice. This flavoursome stew can also be enjoyed with mashed potatoes, couscous or pasta.
The flavours of this dish are simply superb - you should try it out!