Even better, I surprised myself! I was in the mood to cook something, but it was raining (which means walking to the grocery story wasn't an option), I kept telling myself that now I really do have to start following my budget, and I hadn't planned anything for the week ahead of time. It was time to raid the kitchen
Potatoes? Check. Eggplant? Check. Tomatoes, garlic, and yummy spices? Check, check, check. I began by writing the ingredients I already have on hand in Google: "potatoes and eggplant recipe." After sifting through a few dozen different options that appeared for the Indian dish "Aloo Baingan," I took parts of what I liked from many (especially Trinigourmet.com) and came up with Aloo Baingan a la Loo.
Until a couple of weeks ago, this kind of ethnic food intimidated me. I had only eaten Indian food a handful of times in my life, and the thought of cooking it sounded terrifying - but I had a point to prove. Mangoes are in season right now, which means they are cheap, delicious, and plentiful. As a surprise one Friday afternoon, I bought tortilla chips, a bottle of white wine, and the ingredients to make a fresh mango salsa for the fiance and I to share in order to start the weekend relaxed. To my surprise, he could not believe I had mixed mango with so many other ingredients: cucumber, red onion, tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Honestly, over and over again I heard him say my salsa was "loquisimo." He thought that using mangoes in any other way, except for eating them right from the tree (more or less), was, literally translated, "too crazy." And not in the awesome way. Don't worry, he ate it because I made it, and that's one of the reasons why I'm marrying him.
Mangoes are amazing! A luxury food! And I had to get him to understand that they should be celebrated with all types of cuisines, in every meal, and not just alone. I went on a mad search for a recipe that used mangoes that would change his mind, and I found one! I have no words for the Mango Chicken Curry from simplyrecipes.com. It was glorious. We ate it with rice first, and then we froze it and ate it with tostones a week later. Anyway, this recipe was of the Indian ethnic variety, and if I do say so myself, I conquered it.
Aloo Baingan a la Loo was another success! What I love the most is that it was unexpected! I feel like I am growing in confidence little by little with each dish. I'm spending so much of my free time reading other food blogs, recipes, and ideas, and my recipe wish list seems to be getting longer by the minute. I want to make everything! From roasted corn chowder and gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies, to every single Mexican meal you could possibly imagine. (I'm inspired by Cinco de Mayo - Happy Independence Day Mexico!)
Aloo Baingan a La Loo
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. potatoes, cut into cubes
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into cubes
1 green pepper
3 small hot peppers
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
3+ tablespoons curry
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of your preferred hot sauce - optional for an extra kick!
1 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lime
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and let them cook for 10-12 minutes. Then, continue by adding the eggplant, peppers, and onion. Raise the heat to high and add the salt. Let these vegetables sautée for about 3-4 minutes. Next, add the garlic and ginger and reduce the head to medium for couple of minutes more. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and there should not be any left over liquid. If there is, uncover the skillet and raise the heat until it has been absorbed. You should be stirring the mixture occasionally to make sure none of it sticks and burns to the pan.
Finally, stir in the cayenne pepper, cumin, curry, and hot sauce. Add salt to taste. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lime and stir.
Serve over rice or with tostones! Serves 4.
a buen tiempo!