vegetable oil, as needed
1/4 cup raw peanuts
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 dried red chili
1 small cinnamon stick
10 Indian eggplants, stems removed and cut lengthwise into 1/2" pieces
salt, to taste
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1. In a small saute pan, heat about 1 teaspoon oil. Add the peanuts and fry until they begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add cumin, coriander, sesame, red chili, and cinnamon stick. Fry everything until it becomes very fragrant.
2. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add enough water to allow everything to blend easily and grind to a paste. In a large saute pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons oil and saute eggplant with a bit of salt added until it has browned. Transfer to a bowl or plate.
3. In the same saute pan, add another tablespoon oil, if necessary. Saute onion until translucent. Add tomatoes, turmeric and tamarind paste and more salt if needed.
4. Add brown sugar, and cook for a few minutes, then add the cooked eggplant. Cover and cook on medium low for about 5 minutes or so. Add a bit of water if the sauce becomes too thick. Serve with rice or naan.