I formulated this recipe last year and it’s made an appearance on the blog before, but never in proper recipe form. I thought I would finally set that straight because people should try it out. It’s vegan comfort food at its finest and the best part is that it’s totally customizable. Adjust the spices and veggies to your liking and most likely you will still have something fantastic. Who are we kidding, it’s probably better! I like my recipes to be more like “guidelines” so people can trust me as much or as little as they want to. I know I’m personally incapable of following recipes to a T. Damn the man and all that.
This is not a pretty dish and there’s just no denying it. Lawwwd knows I tried it all: ridiculous plating techniques, natural lighting, garnishes, messing with the settings on my wonky camera… all for nothing. It’s proud of its resemblance to particular unmentionables, almost as if it’s protesting, “I’m a dark brown blob of gunk… I’m colored, you stew racist.” ANYWAY. Enjoy the goo, the tasty tasty brown goo.
Curried Eggplant Stew
1 large eggplant, cut in 4 slices
1 medium onion, chopped (I used Vidalia)
1 cup dried lentils
2 cups water
3 tsp Better than Bouillon No Chicken paste
1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 T curry powder
1 T garam masala
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic (or a few cloves roasted)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 carrot, chopped
½ head cauliflower, chopped into florets
½-1 cup water, less if you want a thicker stew
1/2 avocado, sliced (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°. I always recommend waiting at least ten minutes to allow the oven to fully heat, more if your oven’s, to put it kindly, “temperamental.” Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper/aluminum foil. You can also grease it with oil/EB if you prefer. Roast for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway through. You want the skin to be tender when pierced with a fork so it will be easily blendable.
Meanwhile, in a large stockpot sauté the onion over medium heat in a tablespoon of oil. If you’re out of oil like me, use a thin layer of water. It takes a bit longer, but it makes the recipe almost fat-free (the chicken paste has a small amount of canola oil). When the water is evaporated or the onions are sufficiently browned, add the lentils, water, chicken paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The eggplant should be ready soon. When the eggplant is soft and oozy, scoop the insides out into a blender and blend until smooth. Discard the skin. Be careful to allow steam to escape from the blender every now and then or the top might blow off, transforming your kitchen into an eggplant mess. This has never happened to me, but I’m still paranoid it could.
Use a rubber spatula to get every last bit of eggplant goodness out of the blender. Add blended eggplant, carrot, cauliflower, and water (I used ¾ cup but adjust as necessary) to the lentils and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for at least 15 minutes more, but the longer it stews the better it gets. I was impatient so the carrot and cauliflower were still fairly firm. If you want your veggies tender cook for at least 30-45 minutes.
Serve with your favorite rice. Garnish with avocado for extra fatty fun.
Makes a ton of stew- I would guesstimate 4-6 servings.
HAPPY WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY!