1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 2 Tbs.
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, cracked
2 medium onions sliced
12 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 tsp. powdered mustard
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. turmeric or curry powder
1 tsp. salt
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 can (19 oz) chick peas rinsed and drained
2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped
In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook untill dark brown, about 15 seconds.
Add the fennel seeds and black pepper and cook for 5 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and reduce the heat to moderately high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the mustard, hot pepper, turmeric and salt. Add the eggplant.
Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring gently, until the eggplant is limp, about 5 minutes.
Gently stir in the chick peas, cover and simmer over low heat until the liquid thickens to a gravy and the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes.
Season with additional salt to taste. Sprinkle the coriander over the top and serve.