I used to go to a restaurant called Indian Flavour. It was in a great location—right across the road from The World’s Biggest Bookstore and very close to HMV—which were, back then, two of my favourite places to browse. I went there for their buffet quite often because I craved the eggplant dish they served and I’ve been searching for a replacement for a while.
This dish is a very good substitute for that one. And as good as it is when first served, it’s even better the second day.
Here’s what happened.
Got two eggplants.
Baked the eggplants, then scooped out the pulp and chopped it up.
Got some onions, garlic and ginger.
Chopped the onions, garlic and ginger.
Got a jalapeno pepper.
Measured out the spices.
Cooked the onions, garlic and ginger in some oil with the minced pepper and spices.
Added the eggplant and cooked the mixture for 20 minutes, after adding 1/2 cup water (there was a lot of eggplant and I wanted it to be well done).
Then the eggplant was served over basmati rice.
From Epicure: Recipes and More for the Curious Cook by Kate Bush, David Cobb, Charles Oberdorf and Jane Rodmell, 1994.
Indian spices added to vegetables gives them a new dimension.
3 lb. eggplants (2 medium)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil or clarified butter
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small green chili, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp. garam masala (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. finely chopped coriander for garnish
Prick eggplant in several places and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until well softened. Halve, scoop out all pulp and coarsely chop; discard skins. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger; fry until golden brown. Add chili, ground coriander, turmeric and cumin; cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in chopped eggplant; cook gently 10 minutes (add a little water if the mixture gets too dry). Stir in garam masala and lemon juice. Garnish with coriander.