I learned to cook this dish from an Indian family that I used to work for as a nanny. It was my first meal I cooked without oil before I even knew that cooking without oil was a way. The eggplant and zucchini in this dish cook in tomato juice, and it is simply spiced with just a bit of turmeric, a hint of ginger, and a bit of garlic. I make this dish over brown rice, and eat it as a main course, but it could of course be a side dish as well. One zucchini with the skin has about 2g of protein, 2g of fiber, and a ton of vitamin A. Since it is a low energy food, it keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps manage weight.
I could only use half the zucchini in this recipe, it was so huge!
I haven’t mentioned what allicin is in a while, so just a reminder as to why we let the garlic sit for 5 minutes: when garlic is cut it releases healing enzymes called allicin. These enzymes are antibacterial and help to ward off germs. Usually these enzymes would be released when we chew but since most people don’t chew thoroughly, it is best to let the knife do the work for us. Many studies have been conducted on garlic and its healing properties and they have concluded that people who consume at least 6 cloves of garlic a week are much less likely to get sick. Taking garlic extract pills is also very useful…but why take a pill when you can just make delicious meals with fresh garlic and get the same effect!
Eggplant and Zucchini Indian Stir Fry
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 2 tbsp vegetable broth
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed and let to sit at least 5 minutes to release the allicin
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 green zucchini, diced (you can dice them larger then normally if you are having this as a main dish)
- 1 eggplant, diced (again, you can dice it bigger)
- (optional) 1 yellow squash, diced
- salt to taste
Heat the vegetable broth in a large wok with a lid, and when it begins to steam, add the diced tomatoes and cover it up for 5 minutes, cooking over medium heat. The tomatoes will begin to break down. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and the ginger and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the onions, cover it back up, and cook another 3 minutes. Add the turmeric and stir it all up until it looks yellow. Next add the zucchini and the eggplant, and the squash if you’re using it, cover it up and cook 15 minutes. You might not even need to cook it for the full 15 minutes, depending on how large you made the chunks, how crowded your pan is, or in my case how large the zucchini is! (I had to cook mine for longer then 15 minutes because the zucchini was so big that at first it didn’t all fit into my wok!) Every so often check on it, give it a stir, make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and the eggplant and zucchini aren’t over cooking.
You want the vegetables to become a bit translucent, but not wilt so much that they fall to mush when you stir your dish.
When its done, season it with a bit of salt, and enjoy!