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Drawing inspiration from the flavors of kathirika pulikari (a Tamil dish with eggplant in a tamarind gravy) and my favorite bites of moussaka—those cheesy, cinnamon-scented tomato-saucy one—this one-skillet meal stars summer's finest baby eggplants and the sweetest tomatoes you can find. The sauce gets a little bit of earthy spice from both Nagauri Cumin and Wild Ajwain, a touch of heat from Kashmiri chillies, and a gently sweet, warming spice, courtesy of Sri Lankan Peni Miris Cinnamon. Make sure to have lots of bread on hand for sopping up all the delicious juices!
If you want to make this vegan, you can omit the cheese and add more eggplant. Or, you could also crisp up some tofu, seasoned with salt and Aranya pepper, and add that in place of the cheese.