Eggplant Stew (Serves 4)

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Eggplant, Potato and Dried Fruit Stew (serves 4-6)
Aubergines et Pommes de Terre Avec Fruites Sec

(Total time: 2 hours one hour prep time, plus up to an hour to simmer)

Today is April 23rd and Mother Nature has faked us out again. The wind chill tonight will be 25 F with gusts of 40mph. So much for dinners in the gazebo! But this is a good day for a savory stew, and this recipe is slow food at its best.

I had a conversation with a friend today who asked me if the transition to a plant based diet had been difficult. I could honestly say, “no, it’s been very easy…and I feel terrific.” I realize that not everyone has the same experience, and that I was motivated more than most by the health issues I have had, but I am happy, satisfied, and sleeping very, very well, for the first time in decades. I will be having my cholesterol and bone density checked in a few months, and that will provide empirical evidence (or challenge) to how I feel. But I really do want to go on record as saying that the food is fabulous, the cooking is every bit as challenging and entertaining as it ever was, and that I am prepared to eat this way for the rest of my life.

And aside from the a comment from a reader that “it all looks the same” (which presents me with a new and welcome challenge) I find the dishes appealing and colorful.  I don’t yet know how to make a plant based died look like “a main and tow sides” but I am certain that there is a way and that I will find it!

In the meantime, this one was pure “soul food” so try the recipe and have a party! This is FEAST food. ~ Glyn

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1 large red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp. olive oil

1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
½ c green peas

½ tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. each yellow and black mustard seed
½ tsp. whole coriander
2 cardamom pods
1 2” piece cinnamon stick

6 dried apricots, chopped
6 pitted prunes, chopped
2 c diced tomatoes (fresh or canned, with juice)
6-8 fresh mint leaves

Salt and crushed red pepper to taste
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground cumin
Juice from ½ lemon

Sauté the peppers, onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.

In the same pan, sauté the cumin seed, mustard seed, cardamom pod and the coriander seed until they begin to pop. Add the potato and eggplant, adding additional oil if needed. Cover and cook until they begin to brown. (about 15 minutes)

Return the onion mixture to the casserole. Add the tomatoes, peas, cinnamon, prunes and apricots.
Bring to a simmer.

Add the ground spices and the fresh mint. Cover and cook at a bare simmer for 30 minutes.

Adjust seasoning and add the lemon juice.

Serve with plain or minted rice.

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This entry was posted by Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk.

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