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Palak baingan aur channa
(Spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, and chick-peas)


Soaking time: overnight
Preparation and cooking time: 45 min

2/3 cup (100 g) chick-peas, soaked overnight
4 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 fresh chillies, seeded and minced
1 lb (450 g) eggplant, peeled and cubed
6 tomatoes, chopped
1 lb (450 g) fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped
4 tablespoon water
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Boil the soaked chick-peas in water until tender. Then set them aside to drain. Place a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and heat the ghee or vegetable oil. When it is hot, toss in the cumin seeds, minced chillies, grated ginger, ground coriander, and turmeric, in that order and in quick succession. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then drop in the eggplant cubes and turn them with a spoon until they are browned and butter-soft.

Now add the tomatoes and chopped spinach. Stir to blend the spices into the vegetables. Pour in the water and add the salt. Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer with the pot covered. After 10 minutes, remove the cover and fold in the chick-peas. Then dot with butter and simmer gently, stirring every few minutes, until most of the excess liquid has been cooked off. Serve hot with nimbu chawal or alu paratha.