This recipe relies pretty heavily on you having some fresh Turmeric Root. Though turmeric root is the source of the more common dried turmeric powder, it has a subtly different flavour. Turmeric root should is best grated on a ceramic ginger grater, just before you need to add it to the dish – it oxidises very quickly and then the bright orange turns a rusty brown.
The act of grating turmeric root is also recommended for anyone who wishes to go to an X-Files themed fancy dress party as The Cancer Man. It is incredibly staining, and even if you immediately wash your hands your finger tips will be left with an orange tinge reminiscent of a 2 pack a day habit for a day or so. It is quite a cheerful colour actually and will serve as a happy remembrance of a lovely meal even as you sit the next day in yet another interminable business meeting getting a numb arse, and an earache from all the corporate nonspeak.
- a small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 baby brinjal (aubergine), cut into thin wedges. It is best not to cut the brinjal until just before you need it, as the cut flesh quickly oxidises and turns brown.
- 1 cup of cooked chick peas
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon of dried black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds
- 3 cardamom (seed) pods
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 6-7cm (approx) long turmeric root, grated
- 1 cm (approx) of ginger root, grated
- tablespoon of light miso paste (or similar vegetable stock source)
- 1 cup (approx) of methi leaves
- (up to) 1 cup of water
- vegetable oil
- de-pod the cardamom seeds from the pods, and then dry roast together with all the other dried spice seeds for 5-10 minutes. Then grind to a course powder in a mortar and pestle.
- saute the spices, together with the onion
- add the chickpeas, tomatoes, miso paste, garlic, grated ginger and water and simmer for ten minutes on a low flame
- add the brinjal and the grated turmeric root continue to simmer for a minute or two. The brinjal should best be still a little crunchy. Simmer longer however if that is not to your taste.
- stir through the methi leaves and serve
* Image of turmeric root sourced gratefully from www.food-info.net