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Ginger Tamarind Eggplant
Yield: 6 Servings

1 1/2-inch-round ball tamarind
1/4 c boiling water
1 lb thin, long eggplant
3 tb vegetable oil
1 1/2 ts minced garlic
2 ts ground coriander
1/4 ts ground cinnamon
1/8 ts ground cloves
1/2 c grated unsweetened coconut, packed
1 ts cayenne pepper or to taste
1/2 ts salt; or to taste
2 tb molasses or brown sugar
1/2 ts black mustard seeds

tamarind residue
1/2 c boiling water
1/2 ts cornstarch
1 tb shredded fresh ginger

Put the tamarind in a nonmetallic bowl. Add 1/4 cup boiling water
and let it soak for 30 minutes. Mash the pulp and extract as much
juice from it as possible. Pour all liquid into a bowl, and save
the fibrous residue for making the sauce.

Slit the eggplants lengthwise to within 3/4 inch of the stem end
so that each eggplant remains in one piece.

Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in
separate piles. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying
pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic
and fry for 30 seconds. Add the coriander, cinnamon, and cloves;
fry for 15 more seconds. Stir in the coconut and cayenne pepper;
continue frying, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 2 minutes).
Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, tamarind liquid, and
molasses, and mix well.

Stuff the eggplants with the spicy coconut mixture. Secure them by
wrapping thread around them.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan over medium-high
heat. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as
the seeds may spatter and fly all over. When the seeds stop
spattering, add the eggplants in one layer. Fry the eggplants,
turning them often, for 3 or 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or
medium low and cook them, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until
they are soft and cooked through. Turn off heat. Transfer them to
a serving platter, pour Ginger-Tamarind sauce over them, and serve

GINGER-TAMARIND SAUCE: Put tamarind residue in a nonmetallic bowl,
add 1/2 cup boiling water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Mash the
residue and extract as much tamarind essence as possible, squeezing
it hard, into a bowl. Discard the fibrous residue.

Put tamarind water in a nonmetallic pan along with cornstarch, mix
well and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and
stir in ginger shreds.

Note: For a hotter flavor, stir 4 chopped hot green chilies into


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