Dead Calm

Continuing my rants about existential malaise, it’s a bit of a weird feeling trying to find something meaningful to do with your life after graduating from college. I’m trying to do something in education, but with my degree in purgatory/processing, I haven’t been able to apply to any position that requires proof of having a college degree, which is disgusting and makes me feel like I’m not doing anything worthwhile (which isn’t to say that I feel like I’m totally wasting my time. Puh-lease. I’m just hungry for more!). This all brings me to my pop cultural recommendation of the week, a song so beautiful it makes me cry (am I being humorous or sincere with this statement? YOU’LL NEVERRRR KNOWWWWWW).

And now onto veganism. A few weeks a go, a few friends and I had Indian food at this wonderful restaurant called Biryani House. Usually, baingan bharta is in chunks, but Biryani House serves it pureed, which lends the dish a wonderful, smooth, velvety texture (which I desperately needed, as my whole mouth was still in pain from my wisdom teeth extraction at the time). This particular dish has a great mixture of spiciness, tartness, and and tanginess. As you’ll see below, I’d recommend thinking about how many tomatoes you want to add to the dish because I could have used more.

Spicy eggplant purée {baingan bharta}
(adapted from Serious Eats)

1 large eggplant or 2 medium
1 onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped (the original recipe calls for 4, and 2 yielded a slightly too-thick texture. Play around with quantity here, since the tomatoes will affect the overall dish)
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (the original recipe calls for three, so take from that what you will)
1 T ginger, grated
1 t red chili powder
2 T ground cumin
1 t garam masala
1/4 t turmeric
3-4 T canola oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat your broiler (if your broiler is like mine, heat it on high. I don’t really know what other people’s broilers are like. I feel weird admitting this). Place the oven rack on the top slot (about six inches from the heat source).

2. Halve your eggplant/s (or quarter it/them if it’s/they’re particularly large). Rub with oil and place on rimmed cookie sheet. Broil, flipping about every 4 minutes until the skin is loose. Set aside to cool.

3. In a medium to large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño, cooking until their edges are translucent.

4. Add garlic, ginger, chili powder, cumin, and garam masala, toasting for a minute or until über fragrant.

5. Add tomatoes, cooking until they’ve released their liquids.

6. Meanwhile, peel the skin off the eggplant/s, subsequently adding it/them to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, to allow the flavors to fall in love and marry with each other.

7. Purée your eggplant mixture and stir in cilantro.

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2 thoughts on “Dead Calm

  1. This looks delicious, I’m making it for dinner as we speak. And don’t worry about feeling uneasy – I know for a fact-o-gram that you’ll make one heck of a teacher!

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