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Nepalese Nightshades Stew

Another for the vegan_cookoff, where this fortnight the challenge ingredients are eggplant and black beans.

This hearty, fiery, stew features the flavors of Nepal and the nightshades eggplant and tomatoes.

1 cup cooked black beans
1/2 small eggplant
1/4 medium red onion
several cloves garlic
1/2 celery stalk
2 Tb tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 habanero*
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coconut extract

(*) Warning: This makes for a very hot dish, the way I like it. Feel free to reduce or swap out for a milder hot pepper.

Roughly chop the onion, celery, garlic, and hot pepper. Place into an oil-spritzed skillet over medium heat. Dice the eggplant and add along with the garam masala to the pan. Continue cooking until onions are lightly caramelized and eggplant is softened. Meanwhile, pour 3/4 cup water into a blender and add 2 Tablespoons tomato paste. Once pan ingredients are ready, deglaze with 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and dump into blender. On a medium setting, whir to a chunky consistency. In a small saucepan (or heck, the same skillet works), reheat the eggplant with the cup of cooked black beans. Just prior to serving, stir in 1 teaspoon coconut extract. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

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