I sometimes go to Jackson Heights, the Indian area in Queens, New York. There are tons of restaurants, jewelry shops, and clothing shops all within a couple block radius. Every time I step off the subway into this neighborhood I feel as if I am stepping into a different world. The food, the smells, the music, the ladies dressed in saris; they are all little reminders of the world which exists thousands of miles away in India.
One thing that’s great about this neighborhood are the prices of the items in grocery stores. On this occasion I stocked up on red onions, an eggplant, small green chillies and a bunch of roma tomatoes. In Manhattan these ingredients would cost at least three times as much.
Here is what I made with the ingredients I purchased in Jackson Heights.
Makes 6-8 side portions
1 eggplant cubed
4 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, diced
2 hot green chillies, sliced in halves
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of turmeric
2 tbsp of canola oil
salt to taste
Heat oil. Saute the turmeric, onions, chillies, and garlic in oil until softened. Add the eggplant. Continue to cook on a medium heat until eggplant starts to soften. At this point add the tomatoes. Continue to cook gently until the eggplant is fully cooked. Add salt to taste. The entire cooking process will take approximately 30 minutes. Eat with rice or pita bread or naan or a roti; whatever carbs you have will be a good accompaniment.