Eggplant Curry with Greens
1 lb chinese eggplant tossed with olive or avocado oil to coat
1 1/2 tablespoon ghee or oil
2 small or 1 large onion, diced
3 cracked black cardamom pods, cracked (optional)
1 small hot chile, minced, if fresh, or crumbled, if dried
3 green cardamom pods, cracked and seeds removed, or a generous 1/4 teaspoon decorticated cardamom
1 tablespoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 1/2 cup (3 good handfuls) mixed sturdy greens (spinach, tat soi, kale)
1 cup diced tomato, peeled and seeded
8 ounces of coconut milk
Preheat oven to 425 (220 c; gas mark 7) degrees. Slice the eggplant lengthwise if it's more than two inches in diameter, then slice into 1" pieces. Toss with oil and salt and put on parchment on a cookie sheet. Roast 10-15 minutes per side, until lightly browned.
Put ghee or oil into a large frying pan or wide saute pan. Heat to medium high and add the onion, chile, and black cardamom. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Meanwhile, toast the coriander, black pepper, and green cardamom seeds in a small dry skillet until you can smell the coriander. Let the spices cool and then grind them in that extra little $12 coffee grinder you keep for this purpose. If you don't have that grinder, you can use a pepper grinder or mortar and pestle. If you must, use ground spices, but they'll be less potent, so be sure to use the freshest you can find.
Add the ground spices, turmeric, garlic, and ginger to the onion mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat. Add a little more ghee or oil as needed, but don't worry if spices stick to the pan, as long as they don't start to burn. Add the greens and stir until they're a little wilted, then add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cook on medium high, stirring for 5 minutes, then add the eggplant, turn the heat to medium low, and cook for about 5 more minutes.
Serve with rice.
Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet