Eggplant, Okra, and Potato Curry

This is a very good vegetarian curry dish. It is at its best in late summer with garden-fresh eggplant and okra, along with local potatoes. A while back my Indian cooking teacher Farida served us this dish, but I did not watch her make it. She gave me some rough instructions and I’ve been trying to master it ever since. I finally am satisfied with this version so I wanted to share it. I like to use a ground coriander and cumin mixture for curry that I purchase in an Indian grocery store. If you can’t find it, just mix together 1 cup ground coriander with 1/4 cup ground cumin. Store it in a glass jar and use as needed. It flavors curry dishes nicely. This is not a wet curry swimming with sauce, but a drier version that is often eaten with Indian flat bread. I like it with basmati rice.

Eggplant, Okra, and Potato Curry
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons fine salt or more to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander/cumin mix
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup hot water or more as needed
3 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into large cubes (6-7 cups diced eggplant)
1 cup thickly sliced fresh okra
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

In a 5-quart pot combine oil and onions. Turn heat to medium and let onions cook for 7-8 minutes until golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and spices. Lower heat slightly and let the tomato and onion mixture cook for 8-10 minutes until it has darkened a bit. Add potatoes and 3/4 cup water. Cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add eggplant, okra, and 1/4-1/2 cup water. Stir to mix well. Cover and cook 20 more minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Stir occasionally. If the curry begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a little extra water. Taste and adjust the salt if needed. Add cilantro and stir. Serve with basmati rice. Serves 4-6.

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