Homage to the Eggplant
I can’t really have a blog with eggplant in its name and not have any recipes. So here are a few of my favourite eggplant recipes –
Bonjon E Boroni
A recipe from Afghanistan
½ kg Eggplant
2 cups Oil
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
4 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thick Yoghurt
½ cup Mint, chopped
Slice eggplant into thin round slices, sprinkle with salt and lave to drain in a colander for ½ an hour.
Gently squeeze out any liquid from the eggplant.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the slices till golden brown. Do it in batches and let the oil heat in between. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
In the same oil lightly brown the onion and then add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
Whisk the yoghurt with the garlic.
Smear the base of a large, flat platter with a little bit of the yoghurt. Place a layer of the eggplant on the platter. Put a little dollop of the onion/tomato paste on each eggplant topped with yoghurt. The eggplants should be just visible.
Garnish with mint leaves.
Smoked Eggplant Dip With Walnuts
Recipe adapted from Aglaia Kremezi’s Meze Tapas And Antipasti
2 large Eggplants
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 fresh Red Chilli, finely chopped
125 gm/4 oz Walnuts
1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 Lime
3-4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Roast the eggplants on the hob (see How To….Roast An Eggplant).
Peel off the blackened skin, cut the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the skin. Leave the flesh in a colander for ½ an hour to drain.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the chilli until soft, about 2 minutes.
Place the drained eggplant, the chilli with its oil, the walnuts, garlic, lime juice, the extra virgin olive oil and the salt into a food processor and pulse to make a smooth paste.
Serve with Pita, Lavash or nice fresh, crusty bread.
Baingan Ka Bharta
Recipe by Zarina Sheikh
1 Large Eggplant
1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 Green Chilli, chopped (optional)
½ Teaspoon Turmeric
½ Teaspoon Coriander Powder
¼ Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
Small handful Coriander Leaves, chopped
1 ½ teaspoon Dry Mango Powder (Aamchoor) or the juice of ½ a Lime
Roast the eggplants on the hob till the skin blackens (check my post on How To…..Roast an Eggplant). Leave it on a plate till it cools. Remove the skin and wash off any black bits. Mash the eggplant with a fork or potato masher
Heat the Oil in a karai (an Indian wok) or in a frying pan. Add the onions and green chillies and cook till slightly brown.
Add the tomatoes and cook till pasty.
Add the turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt, give it a stir and then add the eggplant.
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a couple of time in between. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes till the oil separates.
Turn off the gas.
When the bharta has cooled a little add the aamchoor and sprinkle coriander leaves on top.
Eat with chappatis (Indian flat bread)