Technically, "tandoori" pertains to food cooked in a tandoor, a round clay oven. I don't own a tandoor, so here I'm using the term to describe the spice blend I used to season the dish, a blend reminiscent of what would be used in tandoori chicken or chicken tikka.
Don't be afraid of the seasoning blend. It's not hot-spicy at all, and the juices from the vegetables absorb the spices to make a delicious sauce.
While I don't have a tandoor, I *do* have a microwave, and I used it here to cook the eggplant. This was a new technique for me, one I found scattered across the internet. One of the challenges of cooking with eggplant is that it can be bitter. The salting of the cubes takes care of that little problem, though you usually have to let the eggplant sit in the salt for half an hour, draining. The microwave speeds up this process considerably. It also starts cooking the eggplant "dry", so the cubes of veg don't are par-cooked when they go in the stew. This prevents overly mushy or occasionally slimy eggplant. No, cooked in the microwave, the eggplant took on a wonderful, tender but slightly chewy texture that was absolutely lovely.
So before the weather turns so blisteringly hot you cannot even think of turning on the stove, give this a try! Enjoy.
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced in 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can chick peas (drained and rinsed)
2 zucchini, sliced in half moons
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. chopped parsley
"tandoori" spice blend:
1/2 tsp. each cumin, coriander, ground ginger, tumeric, and salt
1/4 tsp. each cinnamon and cayenne
Rice or quinoa
Toss the diced eggplant with 1 tsp. salt, then spread on a dinner plate lined with 3 or 4 layers of paper towels. Microwave for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a large pot with a little nonstick spray. Cook onions over medium heat until starting to turn golden. Add garlic and the "tandoori" spice blend; cook another minute. Add tomatoes, chick peas, zucchini, raisins, and vegetable broth. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Add eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and parsley.
Allow all the ingredients to heat and let the flavors mingle while you cook the rice or quinoa. Serve the stew on a bed of cooked grains.