We’ve got to hand it to Renuka, one of our residents at AMLI Galatyn Station. The presentation of her recipe for our AMLI EATS contest held last fall was one of the most well-composed entries we received. For her efforts, she took home the regional prize for the Dallas region.
Like much food from the Indian subcontinent, Renuka’s winning recipe is vegan-friendly. Replacing the meat here is eggplant, and coupled with a hearty addition of cashew paste, this dish has more than enough protein for a well-rounded meal. Those wishing to add some may do so without altering the recipe. However, be forewarned—the sauce is thick and filling on its own.
Korma is closely related to curry. What sets it apart is the addition of yogurt, a creamy almond or cashew paste, or paneer (Indian cheese) to make a heartier sauce. Vegetables are braised in a pan. Diced tomatoes to cook down and meld with whatever creamy element is added to form a sauce seasoned with hallmark spices of Indian cuisine—cumin, mustard seed, coriander, and sometimes turmeric, which adds a vibrant orange color to the dish.
Renuka won a gift card to Williams-Sonoma. Other winners received gift cards to Blue Apron and two grand-prize winners received a dinner party with a private chef and up to 10 of their friends. Find the winning recipe below, along with a short interview with Renuka. Stay tuned for our next contest this fall!
Renuka’s Eggplant Korma
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1 medium onion (sliced)
3 tomato, diced
6 eggplants (small one)
coconut and cashews paste (2 tablespoons coconut powder and 2 tablespoon & cashew powder)
2 tablespoons red pepper powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Mix in cumin and mustard seeds and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender. Mix ginger garlic paste, curry leaves, and tomato into the pan, and cook about 1 minute. deep fry eggplants and add these fried eggplants in to the pan, and cook about 1 minute, and add coconut and cashew paste. Add red pepper powder and salt. Finally add coriander powder in to the pan.
Interview with the cook:
1. How many days of the week do you typically cook?
I love cooking so I usually cook for the whole week. Sometimes, I cook five or six days a week if we don’t go to restaurants.
2. Who do you usually cook for?
My children and my husband love my cooking. My six-year-old daughter gives compliments for my curry’s like, “You are my best chef-mom ever and ever! I love your cooking.” So, I cook for my lovable family.
3. What was the inspiration for your AMLI EATS recipe? Is there a story behind it?
I like all the contests conducted by AMLI. One day, I saw the email about AMLI EATS recipe contest and this seemed like a good fit for me. So, I participated.
4. What is your favorite cuisine to cook? Why?
I like and love to cook Indian cuisine. I can cook these recipe with 100-percent confidence. We usually eat Indian curries. I like Mexican food also.
5. Where do you shop for ingredients? Are there any local stores that have great deals, produce, or other items you use to cook?
We usually shop for ingredients at India Bazaar in Plano. We get everything we regularly use for cooking, especially for recipes like masalas that need ingredients like red chili powder, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and the like.
6. What’s the best part about cooking at your AMLI apartment?
The kitchen. AMLI has spacious kitchens and granite counter tops, so it’s very easy to cook.