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Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spicy Eggplant (Masala Baingan)

Spicy Eggplant (Masala Baingan)
Los Angeles Times

The rhythmic chanting and the tabla beat, heightened by a heady aroma of jasmine and cardamom, took me back to my summer holidays in Bombay at my grandmother's home. Stirring in her magic along with sugar, ghee and cream of ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 8
  • Oil
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, minced
  • 2 to 3 serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped cilantro and mint leaves, for garnish

Step 1Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add the eggplant rounds and fry them until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes a side. (My California touch to this recipe is to lightly brush the eggplant with olive oil and broil it. This reduces the fat). Drain the eggplant on paper towels and arrange the rounds on a platter.

Step 2Add enough oil to the same skillet to make 1/4 cup. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the cumin and fenugreek seeds and cook until they are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion, tomato, ginger, serranos, coriander, turmeric and salt to taste. Cook the mixture until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3Whisk together the yogurt, amchoor powder, red and black pepper in a small bowl. Add salt to taste.

Step 4Top each eggplant round with some of the onion mixture, followed by a drizzle of the yogurt mixture. Garnish with the cilantro and mint leaves.

Note: Amchoor powder is available at Indian markets.

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