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Eggplant and Black Bean Casserole


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, cracked
2 small onions, sliced
12 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric or curry powder
1 teaspoon salt optional
3/4 pound eggplant, cut into 2x1/2 inch pieces
1-1/2 cups Italian style peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 pound canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, chopped


Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet or flameproof casserole over high heat. Cook cumin seed 15 seconds or until dark brown. Stir in fennel and pepper. Immediately add onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium high. Saut, 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions and garlic are golden. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add eggplant and reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant softens. Stir in tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until tomatoes are hot. Stir in black beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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