Eggplant and Papaya Curry

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from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080507.wlchefvij07/BNStory/lifeFoodWine/home

WHAT YOU NEED

2 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds)

3 medium to large semi-ripe papayas (about 21/4 pounds)

1/2 cup canola oil

2 very large onions, in 11/2-inch dice (about 11/2 pounds)

3 large ripened tomatoes, in 11/2-inch dice (1 pound)

11/2 tablespoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds

1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped

11/2 tablespoons salt

2 cups black chickpea curry

1 cup chopped cilantro

11/2 teaspoons dried mint leaves (optional)

WHAT YOU DO

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Wrap eggplants and papayas individually in aluminum foil. Place them on a baking tray. Since the papayas will cook faster, place them in the front so you can easily remove them from the oven. Bake papayas for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Continue baking eggplants for one hour more or until they are very soft. The eggplants will become mushy and deflated. Remove eggplants from the oven and cool so you can unwrap the aluminum foil.

Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel papayas and discard the skin. Cut papayas in half. With a spoon, scoop out seeds and discard. Purée papaya flesh in a food processor or finely mash with your hands.

Using a paring knife, peel skins off eggplants. Using a spoon, scrape off any eggplant stuck to the skins. Discard the skins. Coarsely chop eggplants and place in a mixing bowl, then, using your hands, roughly mash the eggplants. They will have nowhere near the smooth consistency of mashed potatoes; instead, there will be some chunks. (You can also place the whole eggplants on a large cutting board and dice them into ¼- to ½-inch pieces.)

Add the papaya purée to the eggplants and mix well. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large heavy frying pan on medium-high heat for one minute. Add onions and sauté until brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in tomatoes. Add cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, jalapeno pepper and salt. Cook for 10 minutes. Pour the eggplant and papaya mixture into the masala and stir well. Combine the eggplant and papaya curry with the black chickpea curry and heat on medium for five to 10 minutes or until the mixture is gently boiling. Stir in the chopped cilantro just as you turn off the heat.

Present this curry on six plates with chapatis. Sprinkle with dried mint.

Serves 6 to 8

See Black Chickpea Curry

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