Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Eggplant afghani style

I love eggplant/ aubergine/ baingan cooked most ways - grilled in olive oil, bhurta style, sweet and sour kashmiri style et al, but one of my favourites is a recipe that I read many years ago. It claimed to be an Afghani recipe, which tickled my fancy for exotic recipes, and it's been a summer family staple since. It's easy to make, tastes great on anything from bread to crackers to roti or even by itself and is easy on the eye too. It's also a great dish to serve when entertaining, because it looks more complicated than it is. I've even taught my maid to make it and she does a pretty good job though the presentation could be better.

For those of you following my blog, I have to admit it - I'm not a by-the-numbers anything, much less a cook. It bores me rigid to measure out ingredients and so on, except when I'm baking, in which case exactitute is of the essence. So make sure you adjust the measures as per your taste - I do!

Eggplant with yoghurt, afghani style

1 big round purple aubergine or 4-5 long purple aubergines cut into 1 cm slices
1 big onion, grated
2 tomatoes, grated
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup yoghurt, hung
2-3 cloves garlic, finely mashed (add less or more depending on your fondness for garlic. I love it)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
chopped coriander for garnish

  1. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant and leave aside for some time

  2. Add the garlic and salt to taste to the yoghurt and mix well

  3. Pour some of the oil into a saucepan and heat till nicely hot.

  4. Shallow fry the eggplant in the oil, turning the slices till nicely cooked and browned on both sides. If you're calorie conscious (and who isn't, these days), you can grill the aubergine in the oven which may take longer to do.

  5. Set the eggplant aside to cool

  6. Pour the rest of the oil into a wok and heat

  7. Add the cumin powder, then the onion and cook, stirring frequently till almost brown

  8. Add the tomatoes and stir to mix, then cook on a slow flame till well cooked.

  9. Remove from the stove and cool

  10. Get a shallow serving dish with a wide base and layer first the eggplant slices, then the onion-tomato mix and then the yoghurt

  11. Top with coriander and pop into the refrigerator to chill until cool or cold - tastes good either way

Feel free to omit the cumin, it isn't essential.


Shella said...

This recipe is really good. I will try it.

bird's eye view said...

Do try this, it's delicious, looks terrific if you assemble it in a glass dish and is simple to make.