Growing up in Rhode Island, grocery shopping consisted of several stops. Friday nights my mom would take me to the regular local grocery store for the basic essentials, bread, milk and eggs. It was the Saturday morning trips that always felt like an adventure. We would drive into Providence to go to the Chinese markets. One for seafood – which I dreaded because of the fish market smells and quite frankly the crabs and fish eyes scared the hell out of me when I was younger -and another Chinese market right across the street from the fish market for vegetables. The last stop would be the small Indian stores for more vegetables. If it wasn’t a seafood weekend, it was most likely a chicken weekend. For that we’d travel to the famous Federal Hill in Providence where we’d go to Antonelli’s Poultry, the only live poultry store in Rhode Island.
All of these stops just to get groceries! I never understood why we couldn’t just shop in one place but of course now I know. Many of the vegetables that we cook with in our Indian cuisine weren’t sold at our local grocery store, like the ‘long bean’ I’m making today. This week I also picked up Chinese Eggplant to go with the Long Bean.
This has become a family favorite in our home. Luckily for my family, stopping by the Indian store is now part of my own weekly grocery shopping. If you are looking to make this type of bean, I recommend stopping by a local Indian grocery store. You will not regret it.
Fiji Long Bean (Snake Bean) & Eggplant Curry
This quick vegetarian dish makes for a great weeknight meal
For the long bean, trim and discard both ends of the long been. Then cut into one inch pieces. Take as many beans as you can, line them up and chop into 1 inch pieces
Next, take your washed Chinese eggplant (isn't it so pretty?), to the cutting board. There is no need to peel the eggplant. Just cut the eggplant in 3 or 4 pieces horizontally and then use those smaller pieces to make thick matchstick style cuts. There is no messing this up. The eggplant will melt into your curry so you'll never really see the "shapes."
Cook that Curry!
Coat pot with olive oil. Heat for about one minute on medium high heat
Add a large pinch of the cumin, mustard seed, fenugreek mixture. Once you start to hear the pop and sizzle, the oil is just hot enough (about 2 minutes)
Add onions, garlic, curry leaves and chilis, mix and let sauté for 2 minutes
Next up is our GOLD! Add in the turmeric and curry powder and sauté for 1 minute
Add in diced tomatoes and mix for about 1 minute
Next, add in the rest of your veggies, the long bean , eggplant and potatoes. Add in salt0]60\Mix well, put the cover on and let cook for 20-30 minutes.
Your cook time will depend on how tender you like your veggies. I tend to cook my curry longer because I like this curry melted together. Just a preference. It's also why my photo of the main dish looks a little mushy. After the 20 minute mark, try it, and if the curry is too watery or too tender cook it for a few more minutes and so forth.
Serve with your favorite roti or rice!