Grocery stores in San Francisco Bay area have indeed come a long way. Last time I went to India Cash and Carry, a popular Indian grocery store, I was astonished (and thrilled) to find 6 different varieties of eggplant there! Best of all, they had the thin, light green variety which is very popular in the Mysore/Bangalore region. A south indian style curry made with this eggplant is a fav of mine, especially with hot gujarati rotis or parathas.
This recipe has south indian sambar masala but you can easily substitute north indian masalas such as garam masala or dhaniya-jeera powder or a combination of both.
10-12 eggplant (thin, light green variety) chopped into 2 inch long pieces
1-2 sprig curry leaves
1/4 tea spoon turmeric
1/2 tea spoon crumbled jaggery or 1/2 tea spoon sugar
1 table spoon sambar powder
1/2 tea spoon red chili powder
1 tea spoon tamarind (Don’t use the readymade paste. I use the thai or Indian variety that comes wrapped in plastic.)
1/4 tea spoon aamchoor powder. ( You can skip aamchoor completely and just add tamarind water also)
For tadka; 1/2 tea spoon mustard seeds, 1/8 tea spoon hing and 4-5 table spoon oil
In a wide pan, heat oil and do a tadka with mustard seeds and hing.
Add Chopped eggplant and stir in turmeric and curry leaves.
After 5 minutes of cooking, add all the masalas except salt and aamchoor powder.
Once the eggplant is nicely cooked (about 8 more minutes), add tamarind and salt. Since you have already added aamchoor, add only the required amount of tamarind i.e. make you don’t make the curry too sour.
Stir well and cook for 3 more minutes.