So, moving on from Indian delicacies, that I have been posting for the past couple of days, featuring Brinjal / Aubergine / Eggplant, I am here with a Chinese style brinjal curry. This post is my 3rd dish for the Cooking Carnival that we are doing as a part of the Blogging Marathon where I have chosen to do 1 ingredient per week.
Vegetarian dishes are quite rare in the Chinese cuisine or rather hard to find in a restaurant menu as far I have seen. This is one of the few that I have relished in the restaurants when we lived in China.Of course, the ones that I had differed from restaurant to restaurant but the main ingredient was always brinjal and capsicum.
Since vegetarian food was so hard to find, I always looked out for vegetable based dishes that I could have with steamed rice.
Almost always, people used to look at me like I had landed from outer space when I mentioned that I am a vegetarian.Some even have asked me how I am surviving!! I also got weird looks from chefs too when I used to request them for vegetarian versions of some dish or ask them to make a vegetable dish.
Each outing was an adventure when we used to hunt for places that served at least a couple of vegetarian dishes!!
Then when I got back home, I used to try to replicate the vegetarian dishes and add it to the Touch of the Orient repertoire.
Now back to the topic…This brinjal curry is from the Sichuan province and it means 3 treasures of the earth.I really don’t know why it is named so or why that name came into existence!
Most of the brinjal based dishes that I tasted back in China were quite oily but here I have tried to make it less so by pan frying the vegetables instead of the usual deep frying technique.
Adapted from here
Chinese Aubergine -1, medium sized
Colored capsicum-1/2 of each color
Spring onion- 2 stalks
Jaggery- 1 teaspoon
Corn flour- 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons
Soya sauce- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for pan frying
Chop the aubergine into cubes and keep them in a bowl of water.Similarly cube potatoes and place them under water till ready to use.
Chop garlic, capsicum, spring onion [white and green separately]
Take 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl,add soya sauce,1 teaspoon corn flour and jaggery / sugar and mix well .Keep aside.
Heat oil for shallow frying and fry the potato cubes till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
Drain the brinjla and take in a bowl. Add teh corn flour and toss well. Add this to the same pan used to cook the potatoes.Keep stirring gently in between and when the brinjal turns a little soft, add the capsicum and saute for a couple of minutes. The capsicum should still have a crunch to it.Once done, drain and keep aside.
Remove all but 1 teaspoon oil from the pan.Add the garlic, white part of the spring onion and saute for a few seconds. Add all the vegetables and give it a mix.
Stir the soya sauce mixture in the bowl and add to the pan.Also add salt and stir gently to mix.The sauce mixture should coat the vegetables.Cook on low flame for a minute and remove from the pan
Sprinkle spring onion greens and serve as a main or a side with steamed rice.