This meal began with one requirement: I needed to use the spinach withering in my refrigerator. It was past the point where I could use it in a salad, so I had to find a way to cook with it. I couldn't figure out a specific dish that I was hungry for, but I knew I was hungry for eggplant. And mushrooms. And potatoes! So, the solution was to combine all of them together in a curry! I'm not sure if this a traditional curry- I just added spices that sounded good to me at the time. But, I think it's definitely more on the Indian side of things if I had to take a guess. Which is my favorite type of food, by the way. For a while I tried to make Indian by modeling my favorite restaurant dishes (Matar Paneer, Vegetable Korma, and Chicken Tikka Masala), but always ended up frustrated because it was never as good as it was when I bought it from the restaurant. No surprise, right? My Indian food was still good... it just wasn't the same. So, I stopped making Indian for a while and just relied on India House down the street to slake my cravings. And then one day this summer I somehow unintentionally ended up making Chana Saag and LOVING it. I think it rekindled my obsession with experimenting with Indian cooking because I've made some sort of Indian curry at least once every two weeks since then:) And they've all turned out really well! I realized that I think the reason why they have been turning out so well is because I have no expectations going in, and I approach the meal with an experimental mentality: taste, decide what flavors I want more of, add an ingredient, repeat. In a restaurant that may not be the most efficient or sanitary way to do things, but for me it works out perfectly. Like I said, I don't know how authentic this is since I'm making it up as I go, but it tastes like Indian to me and satisfies my desire to eat Indian all day every day, so that's good enough for me!

eggplant, mushroom, spinach, and potato curry

1 onion
10-12 small red potatoes
2 tomatoes
2 small eggplants
3 baby bella mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 handfuls spinach
Olive oil to coat the pan
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
2 cups water
Salt to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Slice the onion very thinly; I used a mandolin recently gifted to me by my dad and IT WAS AMAZING! I couldn't have even imagined that it would be so efficient!

Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and sauté the onion, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant into thin discs and then into fourths, chop the potatoes into fourths, chop the tomatoes, and slice the mushrooms. 

When the onions are ready, sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, tumeric, paprika and Garam Masala over the onions and stir to coat the onions evenly. Add the potatoes, increase the heat to medium, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir. They will begin to release their juices after about a minute. At this point, you can add the tomato paste and stir to coat the onions and potatoes. 

Add the eggplant and mushrooms, stir to distribute among the onions and potatoes, and then pour 2 cups of water into the pan. 

Boil for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Then add the spinach and cook for another 10 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Serve over rice.

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