For the Garam Masala:
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
2. Transfer the spice mixture to a spice grinder and process until finely ground.
Note: you 'll have more spice mixture than you need for the following recipe, but there are plenty of ways to use the left-overs.
Rub over tofu slices before pan-searing:
Stir a little into couscous for a quick, spiced side dish:
Or sprinkle over steamed vegetables:
The garam masala will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
18 servings (1 teaspoon), Calories 1.5
And now on to the main event:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 (1-pound) eggplant
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped zucchini
- 4 and 1/2 cups hot cooked basmati rice
2. Add the lentils, water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a final 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender. Discard the bay leaves.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the rice according to package directions. Serve 1 and 1/4 cups lentil mixture over 3/4 cup rice on each of 6 plates.
6 servings (1 and 1/4 cups lentil mixture, 3/4 cup rice), Calories 447
I really enjoyed the tender eggplant and lentils, but surprisingly, this dish is a touch bland. Since you've gone to the trouble of making all that Garam Masala, I recommend adding at least a teaspoon more. The recipe would also benefit from tomato paste, in addition to the chopped tomato, and perhaps a little more olive oil. Still, very nice Indian flavors, minus the heaviness and oiliness characteristic of dishes served at Indian restaurants here in the States.