Maldivian cuisine has so many dry veggie curries that we love, and this dry eggplant curry is one of our favourites among them,
2 medium sized eggplants
2 tsp. corianders seeds
1/3 tsp. fennel seeds
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
¼ tsp. whole peppercorns
1 medium sized onion
1 clove garlic
1 inch thin slice of ginger
6 dried red chillies
¼ cup dried tuna chips
8 curry leaves
6 inch piece of raanbaa
3 inch piece of cinnamon
1 ½ cups oil (for frying the eggplant)
1 tbsp. ghee
2/3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Heat a pan and once heated, add to it add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns and dried red chillies. Keep the heat on medium and keep redistributing the contents in the pan until you can smell the spices getting toasted and see them take on a golden colour.
Let the mixture cool down and then add it to your grinder along with the turmeric, garlic and ginger. We did slice the garlic and ginger roughly before putting them in. Grind until you get a smooth paste. We did add 5 tbsp. of water to help smoothen it.
Cut the eggplant into even bite-sized cubes; an inch in thickness would do.
Heat the oil in a pot, and add the eggplant cubes. Fry them until they take on a golden brown colour.
Once fried, remove the eggplant from the oil, and drain them well to get the excess oil off.
Slice the onion thinly.
Heat the ghee in a pot, and once it’s melted add the onion, raanbaa, curry leaves and the cinnamon. Cook until the onions soften and begin to take on a golden tint.
Add the eggplant, dried tuna and the spice mixture you prepared, along with the salt. Give it a good stir and cook for around 3-4 minutes to get the flavours all combined.