Eggplant and mushrooms and walnuts, of course

Kamarjoba!

(Yup, that’s the only word, other than bread, that I can say in Georgian).

Last night’s dinner was intended to be all Georgian, all the way, however, of course, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

I had intended to make my own version of the fabulous eggplant and cinnamon dish that I get at Goodwill (the supermarket), and serve it alongside mushrooms and cream, and a red bean salad. Unfortunately I forgot that I  didn’t actually have any red beans, Mr having used them all up in his signature kidney bean, soy sauce and coriander dish the night before. Also, I rarely have the patience for eggplant, and this was not an exceptional evening.

As I didn’t realise that I was out of red beans until I had already made most of the salad, I have to apologise to all of Georgia for presenting my “Georgian Red Bean Salad”, made with chickpeas. The horror!

I am posting the recipe for my version of the eggplant with cinnamon dish, and if you actually follow it, yours should turn out really nicely. I got sick of salting the eggplant and started cooking it too soon, and then didn’t wait long enough before I added the water, so mine was a little undercooked. I also burned my finger, which is bad because I don’t have patience for holding burned fingers under the tap for long enough, either.

Both the mushrooms in cream and the salad recipe originally came from GeorgianTaste, however I am re-posting them with my vegan/available ingredient related changes. If you have access to vegan cooking cream, I suggest you try to follow the original recipe for the mushrooms- mine was great, but real cream would have been even better.

From front, clockwise: Bread, Eggplant and Cinnamon, Mushrooms in Cream, and (chickpea) Bean Salad.

Eggplant and Cinnamon

We’ve been loving the eggplant and cinnamon dish I get at the deli, so I though I’d give it a try.

  • 1 medium eggplant, diced, salted for 40 minutes
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or more if you like
  • dash cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • dash fenugreek
  • 1 tablespoon minced dill (or if you don’t have any, some dill-flavoured vinegar from the pickle jar)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • salt,to taste
  1. Leave the eggplant to salt for ages and ages, seriously! (about 30-40 minutes) I never do this for as long as I should and it makes it a bit crap. Then give it a pat down or a rinse.
  2. In as much oil as you are comfortable with (between 2 tablespoons and about 1.3 cup), fry the onion, garlic and eggplant together until the eggplant is soft (this takes a while).
  3. Add the tomato, spices, and water. Stir together and leave at a simmer to cook down. This takes about 25 minutes, but check it occasionally.
  4. Taste, and add salt as wanted.
  5. Serve sprinkled with a little chopped coriander and some pomegranate seeds.

 

Red Bean Salad

Original recipe here.

  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped, not ground
  • 2 tablespoons white  wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (clearly, I used chickpeas)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Only one step – mix everything together!

Bean Salad

Mushrooms in Cream, Soko Arazhanit

Originally from this recipe. My version, below, makes enough for two, as a side dish.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 cups of mushrooms, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine (I can’t get margarine so I use vegan lard here)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cloves
  • sat to taste
  1. Cook the garlic and mushrooms in a little oilve oil until soft.
  2. Add the margarine and flour. Stir constantly until a soft dough forms, then continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes (this “cooks out” the floury flavour).
  3. Add a 1/4 cup of soy milk, and stir into a paste. Continue to add milk, a little at a time, until you have added 1 cup.
  4. Add the spices, pepper, bay, a little salt and parsley, and leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Mixture should have thickened a little. Add extra soy milk if needed, and stir through. Remove bay leaf, and serve  with rice, pasta or bread.
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