When I got back from my honeymoon, I spoke to my grandma.
“Are you happily married?” she asked.
“What have you eaten today?”
“Eggplant and pea curry and chapatis.”
“Good. If you’re eating properly, you must be happy.”
Serves 4 as a main course
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1½ tablespoons tomato paste
1½ level teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons ground red chile
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sugar
4 medium eggplants (2¼ pounds), chopped into 1½-inch cubes
½ cup peas (fresh or defrosted)
Put the oil into a wide-bottomed lidded pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, stir for 30 seconds, then add the onions.
Cook for around 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown, then add the garlic and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, then add the salt, ground red chile, turmeric, and sugar.
Now add the eggplants, coating the pieces with the masala, pop the lid back on the pan, and cook for around 10 minutes. You want the eggplants to be tender and soft with little to no water running from them—if they’re watery, or not yet tender, they may need another few minutes’ cooking.
When they’re cooked, add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat. Serve with hot chapatis (see here) or rice.