Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spicy eggplant

This is one of my favourite recipes from The Food of India: one of those huge hybrid Murdoch Books publications that try to be ethnically authentic, and you try to believe them, but meanhwile you're laughing on the inside at the thought of a multi-conglomerate corporate squid publishing behemoth attempting to convince readers that they know anything about Indian food. HAR.

However, the recipes are pretty good. I used to sort of like eggplant, and now I really really like it. The recipe is easy and delicious. You might to take a detour to All India Foods in Balaclava St to pick up the spices first.

Spicy Eggplant (serves 6)

800g eggplant, cut into wedges 5cm long

400g tin crushed peeled tomatoes

2.5cm piece of ginger, grated

6 crushed garlic cloves

1 and a quarter cups oil (mustard seed or peanut are good. I usually cut the oil by about a third)

1 tsp fennel seeds

Half tsp kalaunji (nigella seeds)

1 tbsp ground coriander

quarter tsp ground turmeric

half tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with lots of salt. Leave for 30 mins to an hour to let the bitter juices run out. Rinse, squeeze out excess water, pat dry with paper towel.

Puree the ginger and garlic with a third of the tomato in a blender or processor. (Otherwise, finely chop and mix together).

Heat half a cup of the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan. When hot, add as much eggplant as you can in a single layer. Fry over medium heat till brown on both sides. Transder to a sieve over a bowl to let the oil run off. Continue with the rest of eggplant in batches.

Reheat the oil left in the pan, and add the fennel seeds and the kalaunji. Cover and allow to pop for a few seconds. Add the tomato and ginger mixture and the remaining ingredients, except the eggplant.

Cook, stirring regularly, for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and smooth (it may spit). Carefully add the cooked eggplant (try not to break up the pieces), cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes.

You can store it in its sauce in the fridge. Pour off excess oil before serving. Good cold, or gently warmed through.

Serve with basmati rice and plain yoghurt as a vegetarian dish, or as part of an Indian feast.

1 comment:

John said...

Like your dish. I find that Eggplants are so versatile, baking, stewing, grilling, stuff them puree them curry them the list just goes on....