Fresh coconuts are abundant in East Africa and are used in both sweet and savory dishes. I can’t really say that I miss the coconut milk back home since extracting the milk was a process! Now I just pop open a tin of coconut milk and I’m set to go! (Ya, I can hear all the everything-fresh-enthusiasts grumbling!) Sometimes, I believe canned is ok! It shouldn’t take hours to make a meal that takes minutes to devour!
This is traditionally served with the addition of boiled eggs. My mother often added corn or boiled potatoes which gives the curry some more body.
Recipe: Ringna Naryal Waru
Also known as: Eggplant/Bringals/Augberines Coconut Curry
Accompaniments: Plain Boiled Rice
For boiling the eggplants:
- 4 small eggplants, choose smooth and firm ones
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
For the curry:
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green chili (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 fresh tomato, very finely diced or crushed
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree
- 2/3 cup coconut milk (canned, which is equivalent to first press of fresh coconut)
- 4 Tbsp water (or as needed)
- 1 cup corn off the cob (niblets), optional (I used canned)
- 2 boiled eggs, peeled and halved (optional)
- Wash the eggplants, don’t cut off the heads, just trim the leafy stuff at the base of the head. Make two deep cuts, almost all the way to the top, into the eggplant as shown in the image below.
- In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add the 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric and the eggplants.
- Cook till a knife easily pierces (about 15 minutes), drain.
- In another pot, heat oil. Add the onion, green chili (if using) and garlic and fry till the onion is carmelized.
- Add the turmeric, chili powder, salt, tomato, lemon juice and tomato puree. Cook till the mixture thickens and releases some oil from the sides.
- Add the corn and 2 Tbsp of the coconut and stir well. Let the mixture come to a boil again.
- Lower the heat, add the rest of the coconut milk and water. Bring to a slow boil.
- Add the boiled eggplants and let them simmer in the curry for a bit before serving.
- If serving with boiled eggs, you may add them now.
- You may add more water if you’d like to thin the curry out.