Review: Mouthwatering Vegan and Eggplant, Potato, Chickpea Curry
When I first received the Mouthwatering Vegan cookbook I thought to myself, “this book is huge!!”. As I flipped through it’s pages I began to drool. With a photograph on almost every single page it was easy to tag all the recipes you want to make. Since it was 100 degrees in Texas my heart sank as most of the recipes I wanted to make were either baked or comfort food. I continued to drool and cursed the summer. My spirits perked back up when I came across the Cherry Tomato, Chickpea & Orange Pepper Salad. And what do you know I had almost all the ingredients already!
The soup and salad chapter is plentiful actually. I could have made any number of dishes like the Rainbow Rice Salad, Carrot & Apricot Soup, or the Cherry Tomato Soup. I will have a go at those another time! Then we move on to the Pasta, Pizza, and Burger chapter. Oh boy do I love a good veggie burger and this cookbook has 6 varieties to choose from.
The Cherry Tomato, Chickpea & Orange Pepper Salad was the perfect summer salad. The basil wasn’t looking so great at the store so I got parsley and cilantro for this salad and it was a wonderful choice! This took mere minutes to toss together and I let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to let all the flavors marry together. Served on top of mixed greens with a side of quinoa, this chickpea salad was simple yet delicious.
I continued to flip through the pages of Mouthwatering Vegan to find another suitable dish for the hot weather that was a bit more “hearty”. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to Curries. Miriam is a woman after my own heart!! And she shares a ton of amazing, creative recipes on her blog. So hope on over there!
Other dishes that I can’t wait to make from the cookbook when the weather cools off:
– Sweet Potato, Leek and Ginger Soup
– Sweet Potato Fusion Curry
– Yummy Curried Potato Burgers
– Spicy Rice & Quinoa Bake
– Rock & Roll Savory Baklava
– Shepherd’s Pie with Mapled Parsnips
And then there’s the dessert section!! Like I said this book is full of comfort food and it includes ingredients that I don’t use on a regular basis (vegan cream cheese, margarine, and cheese, tvp) but many of those recipes are easily adjustable. Like for the Shepherd’s Pie I will use lentils instead of tvp. And she shares some of her own homemade vegan dairy recipes in the back! There’s a reason why Miriam has such a huge following; vegan food is delicious and can stand up to any of it’s meat-filled counterparts any day of the week! This cookbook proves that. So if you have a die hard omnivore in your life that you want to please, Mouthwatering Vegan is a must have!
Now onto the recipe we are going to make with you today!
The Eggplant, Chickpea, Potato & Coconut Curry called out at me, which required only a quick jaunt to the store to grab the eggplant. My store only had Japanese eggplant instead of the regular Italian eggplant and it worked out just fine! Miriam suggests using full fat coconut instead of the low fat variety to get a rich, thick curry. You are welcome to try the low fat coconut milk and let me know how it goes!
The spice combination is incredible for this curry. All of them should be available at any regular grocery store, but for an exciting field trip you may want to visit an Indian market if you have one nearby! Enjoy this incredible curry!
Eggplant, Chickpea and Potato Coconut Curry
This curry has strong Thai origins, since coconut is such a major player in Thai cuisine. Eggplant, which is so effective at absorbing juices, marries beautifully with the chickpeas, potato and spices. You could also substitute spinach for the eggplant.
About 5 Tbsp (75 mL) olive oil (I used 1 teaspoon coconut oil and veggie broth)
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 large onion (I used half an onion and diced finely)
6 cloves garlic (I used 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
2 tsp (10 mL) grated fresh ginger
7 whole star anise (I used 5)
1 tsp (5 mL) curry powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom
1 large potato, cubed
1 14-oz (398-mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Vegan “fish” sauce or soy sauce (I used tamari)
1 14-oz (398-mL) can coconut milk (not reduced-fat)
1/4 cup (60 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) raw or turbinado sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
Sea salt, to taste
Finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a nonstick frying pan set over medium heat, and fry the eggplant for a few minutes, stirring frequently. When it has a little color on all sides, remove and set aside.
2. Dry saute the onion and ginger over medium heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Add a touch of veggie broth and the spices. Continue to mix well.
4. Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and eggplant, and stir well. Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in eggplant and cook another 15 minutes. The consistency of the finished curry should be on the thick side.
5. Garnish with some finely chopped fresh cilantro, if you like, or serve as is, with star anise smiling on the surface.
© 2013 by Miriam Sorrell (with my changes)
Final Thoughts: I really wish it would cool off already so I can turn on the oven and make the yummy casseroles, bakes, burgers and such in this cookbook! The only constructive criticism I have about the book and this is probably just a preference thing is I wish the photos had been professionally done and a different one would have been chosen for the cover. Spaghetti is not so exciting so they may consider a more unique recipe for the cover shot next printing. Also, the recipes use a lot of oil that just isn’t necessary to make a tasty dish so feel free to adjust the recipes as needed like I did with the curry above. I look forward to trying so many more recipes from Mouthwatering Vegan, and may even add some of these to my holiday table this year!
Note: This cookbook was graciously given to me for review from Random House Canada. I liked it so much that we decided to do a sponsored post to share a wonderful recipe and cooking video with you. Rest assured, I only do sponsored posts for awesome vegan things that I love! Doing sponsored posts allows me to keep bringing you great free content, recipes, and cooking videos. If you enjoy this post and recipe please share it with your friends. Many thanks my blissful friends!