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Monday, January 14, 2013

Indian Eggplant, Mustard Greens, and White Bean Soup

Indian Eggplant, Mustard Greens, and White Bean Soup


Eggplant is probably the most-featured fruit (vegetable) in my recipes here - no secret that I love it. Any chance I get to cook them up is welcome - be it traditional Indian recipes with the small and flavorful Indian eggplant, or the spicy Asian recipes, or any new and interesting way that comes about in my kitchen as my mood dictates...

indian baby eggplant
Small Baby Indian eggplant, Calliope, Neon, Ichiban, Kamo, Black Beauty, Italian, White, Green Thai... all varieties of eggplants are much relished - well, some more than others, of course.

Black Turtle, White, Pinto, Red Kidney beans... Chickpeas... these 5 seem to be staple dried beans I stock up on. Periodically, on a weekend, I soak a large batch of them, and pressure cook them. Then, I prefer to freeze them in small portions to thaw and use as needed.

I pressure cook in a couple of batches - one for mushy beans great for refried beans, burgers, and thick soups, one for firmly cooked beans to be added to other dishes like Red Beans & Rice or Bean Salad.

Anyway, a cup of mushy cooked white beans came in handy for thickening this simple soup, and added enough flavor to make this a delicious weeknight meal. Mustard greens wilt when cooked, so add as much as preferred.

Ingredients
About 5 handfuls of chopped Mustard greens
2 Indian small eggplant, sliced into sections
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
6 to 8 cloves of garlic
1 cup cooked white beans
1 cup petite diced stewed tomatoes
2 cups water/stock
1 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp asafoetida powder (optional)
1 Tbsp oil
salt to taste

Preparation
  1. Heat the oil in a pot, sauté the onions and eggplant, add the mustard leaves, beans, the spices, and water
  2. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat till vegetables are cooked and the soup is to desired thick consistency

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