I have a good friend, Narasimhan, who used to live in Adelaide. He is from Tamil Nadu but resides in Bangalore.
When he was in Australia, he would regularly arrive at my place, bearing this curry and a bunch of roses, asking only that I cook some rice and maybe (under his guidance) some payasam. This curry is one of the best vegetable curries that I have tasted, or maybe it is the smell of the roses that biases my tastebuds.
Narasimhan, I miss you. Thank you for this recipe, and the tons of roses.
If you would like to make your own Sambar Powder visit this recent post which will explain the process.
Source : Recipe from Nachi (Narasimhan), my good friend from Bangalore, and from my old Food_Matters site
Prep time: 10 mins to peel and chop vegetables
Cooking time: 15 mins
Sitting time: 15 – 30 mins to develop flavours
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
1 large sweet potato, about 650 – 700 g, peeled and cut into 5cm cubes
1 large eggplant, about 450 g, cut into 5 cm cubes
500 g of spinach, blanched, dried and chopped
1 heaped Tblspn cumin seeds
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tblspn Madras Sambar Powder (buy or make your own) or a good Masala mix / curry powder
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn sea salt
0.25 tspn turmeric powder
50 ml sunflower oil or ghee
2 Tblspn chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
Heat oil or ghee in a heavy-based saucepan on low heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, and stir fry until garlic turns a golden brown colour.
Add the sweet potato pieces and cook for 5 minutes until the sweet potato is half cooked. Stir occasionally. Mix in the eggplant cubes, spinach, sea salt, sambar powder and turmeric powder. Cook on medium heat until the sweet potato and eggplant is tender.
Remove dish from stove and stir in the coriander leaves.
Allow the dish to sit for 15 -30 minutes to develop the flavours, and serve with rice and/or naan.