Baigan and Aloo (eggplant cooked with potato) was one of my favorite things to eat as a kid growing up on the islands.. except when mom would put saltfish (salted cod) in it. According to her (my adult self agrees 100%) makes it more ‘sweet’ (tasty) and though mom never made this dish with shrimp, it’s now one of my go-to recipes when I’m homesick. Granted it’s not a ‘pretty’ dish, but I assure it you’ll fall in love with it.
2 medium eggplant (peeled and cubed)
1 lb shrimp (16-20) * Smaller will work best
1 teaspoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 medium onion (diced)
2 Birds Eye Pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4-6 small potatoes (cubed)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 teaspoon salt (divided)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups water
6-8 cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 tablespoon Parsley (chopped)
IMPORTANT! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go though the entire list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the curry powder you choose to use as there are some brands which use flour in their curry as a filler. Also note that while we did season the shrimp with a tiny bit of curry powder, technically this is NOT curry baigan wand aloo.
Peel and cube the eggplant and potato and set aside (keep the eggplant/potato in water to prevent it from going discolored) Season the washed (peeled and deveined) shrimp with the curry powder, black pepper, 1/4 of the salt and the Caribbean Green Seasoning.. mix well. Then heat 1 tablespoon of veg oil in a wide saucepan on a medium heat.
Toss in the seasoned shrimp, stir well and cook for 1- 1.5 minutes, then remove and set aside for later. In the same pot add the renaming tablespoon of vegetable oil and go in with the onion. Cook on low for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic along with the Bird’s Eye pepper and cook on low for a further minute.
Unless you want the dish spicy (like I do) try not to break the peppers or you will release it’s fury. After which it’s time to add the cubed potato followed by the eggplant.
Turn up the heat to medium high, stir well to pick up the shrimp flavor from the start, then go in with the water and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, add the remaining salt and cover the pot. After 20 minutes, crank up the heat to medium and put the lid slightly ajar. We’re trying to burn off most of the liquid while making the potato tender and fully cook the eggplant.
After 5 minutes or so you can now remove the lid completely, add the tomatoes and parsley, stir and taste for salt. Adjust to your liking.. as mentioned in the video, I’m trying to cut back on the amount of salt I use. Finally it’s time to add the precooked shrimp to the pot, stir well and turn off the stove / cover the pot. Let the residual heat finish cooking the shrimp fully. Remove the peppers at the point if you wish.
If you find that you have too much liquid near the end, you can use the back of your spoon to crush a few pieces f the potato. Do keep in mind that this dish will thicken as it cools. I ate mine with hot roti, so I needed a little gravy.. so it may look a bit runny in the picture.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2