Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 17, 2008: Mushroom and eggplant stew

Our Oxfam 'World in Your Kitchen' calendar has been relatively successful so far. The focus is really on simple recipes, with relatively few ingredients that take less than half an hour to throw together, which is ideal for a lazy workday dinner. June's treat was from Ghana: mushroom and eggplant stew. I was a bit skeptical of this recipe - it seemed to be relying entirely on onion and a pinch of chili to flavour up the vegies. I ended up adding in a few teaspoons of garam masala towards the end of the cooking to boost the taste a bit.

It turned out to be a hearty, warming mush for a winter's evening. The extra spices were probably necessary - I think it would have been too bland for me otherwise. I'm not sure I'll rush back to make it again, but it was simple and reasonably tasty - full of chunky mushroom bits swimming in a mashed up eggplant sauce, with crispy onion bits providing the only textural interest. We opted to serve it on top of some quinoa, which worked pretty well - you really need something to soak up the liquid.

Mushroom and Eggplant Stew

1 eggplant, diced
225g mushrooms, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
150ml vegie stock (you can use the liquid you boil the eggplant in if you want to)
2 teaspoons garam masala

Boil the eggplant pieces for 10 minutes or so until they soften up and then drain them (keeping the boiling water if you're using it for stock). Mash it up into a coarse mush.

In the meantime, saute the onion in oil for five minutes and then add the mushrooms, tomatoes, chili and salt. Fry the mix for 10 minutes or so until the mushrooms and tomato have softened.

Now stir in the mashed eggplant and stock and simmer for at least 10 minutes while your quinoa/rice is cooking. Stir in the garam masala about a minute before you want to serve it all up.


  1. Mmm... not to be rude, but I bet this tastes better than it looks! Really enjoying your recipes & food tips :)

  2. Thanks, Jesska! You're right, this dish sure isn't one of our prettiest but the whiff of garam masala sure lured me in. When oh when will someone invent smell-o-blogs?! (Hopefully once a marketer has a better name lined up than "smell-o-blog"...)

  3. blog n' sniff? haha, no I'm not sure that's quite going to work...

  4. As soon as I read 'boil the eggplant' I was kinda with you about the lack of flavour thing. Wonder if it would be worth the few more calories to fry it instead.

  5. I'm leaning towards Neil. If the eggplant was soaked in some cold water beforehand, it wouldn't need quite so much oil to cook anyway. Garam masala was pure genius. Perhaps a touch of ginger and garlic might make you try this again?

  6. Thanks for the tips, Neil and Mallika! We could go with your suggested alterations, Mallika, but I've actually had your Baingan Bharta recipe bookmarked for some time and am more likely to just try that first. :-)