Don’t be intimidated by the longer list of ingredients in this Eggplant and Rainbow Carrot Red Curry with Barley- you likely have all the spices in your cabinet. “Curry” is simply a spice mixture, so be creative with other spices or vary the amounts of each spice to your liking. This dish is like a superfood itself: the spices and ginger fight inflammation and the abundance of different vegetables provide various antioxidants. Comfort food at its finest 😊 Feel free to serve the curry over brown rice or even quinoa for added protein. I like to top mine with crispy tofu, which is also wonderful.
What (your ingredients):
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ white or yellow onion, diced
4 large rainbow carrots, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 red pepper, diced
½ teaspoon salt
1 eggplant, diced
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1-2 dashes cinnamon
3 small cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste
1 15-oz. can coconut milk
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups quick cooking barley
How (your directions):
In a large sauté pan or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, pepper, and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add eggplant and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Move vegetables slightly to the side so that the spices can be added to the oil at the bottom of the pan (add a few drops of oil as needed). Toast the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon in the oil for 20 seconds, then stir to combine.
Add the garlic, ginger, and curry paste and stir to combine, about 1 minute.
Finally, add the coconut milk and diced tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 2 cups of quick-cooking barley and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When the curry is finished cooking, serve immediately with barley. Salt and pepper to taste.
Why (the science): Be sure to add pepper when serving, as it enhances the bioavailability of curcumin; i.e. the black pepper allows your body to absorb the anti-inflammatory compounds in turmeric 200X better!