A light and fragrant fried rice with aromatic curry powder and fried eggplant, topped with sweet raisins, toasted almonds and coriander. This is a warm and comforting dish that is nice as a light dinner or as a side dish. This would also be perfectly at home at a pot luck or picnic, delicious cold or at room temperature, as well as straight off the pan.
You’ll find that using day old rice will make it easier to fry and less likely to end in a gluggy mess, because the rice will dry out in the fridge overnight. To make more of a meal of this, you can add cooked Puy lentils or an organic hens egg, the addition of the latter making it reminiscent of Scottish breakfast rice dish Kedgeree.
When I first moved out of home I use to cook a dish similar to this with white rice and without eggplant, coriander, sultanas or almonds… I know, it sounds pretty bland! That said, it really is one of the wonderful things of getting older and honing your skills slowly over time, that when you recreate something from your past, you’re able to make it so much better! The sweetness of the sultanas, zesty coriander and crunchy nuts elevates this dish to another level and works in perfect balance. What are you waiting for?
Curried Eggplant Fried Rice
As said above, this dish lends well to the addition of cooked Puy lentils. Add them at the same time as, and substituting for some of the rice. For those that can tolerate them, you could also scramble through an organic hens egg after the rice has heated through. Alternatively, top with a fried egg when served.
Serves 4, or 6 as a side.
Curried Eggplant Fried Rice
2 tbl of extra virgin coconut oil
1 medium brown onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant (aubergine), quartered lengthways and thinly sliced
10-15 fresh curry leaves, picked from stem
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and finely chopped.
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium zucchini (courgette), grated
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp good tasting curry powder (such as this or the more readily available) + more to taste
3 cups cooked basmati brown rice (one day old works best)
1/2 tsp salt and pepper, + more to taste
1/4 cup dry toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sultanas
fresh coriander (cilantro) and wedges of lemon or lime to serve
In a pan over medium heat, saute the onion for 1-2 minutes before adding the eggplant. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and golden brown, adding more oil if needed. Add the garlic and curry leaves and continue to cook for another minute or two.
Add the grated carrot and zucchini and cook on medium heat until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Use your utensil to make a well in the middle of the pan, before adding the olive oil and curry powder into it. Allow the spice to cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, before stirring it through the vegetables. Stir in the brown rice and cook till warm through. Add the salt and pepper, adjusting to your taste. You may also find you would like to add more curry powder.
Transfer to a platter or individual plates and scatter with the sultanas, almonds and coriander. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime.