Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Eggplant Puree in Seasoned Yogurt: Recipe

You can think of this recipe as a variation on the classic Middle Eastern dip and sandwich spread baba ghanouj.

Eggplant purees or baigan bharta are also classic in India. This one has seasoned yogurt. It's delicious right after you make it, but it achieves greatness if you let it sit for a day and use it as a cold dip or sandwich spread the next day.

Eggplant Puree with Seasoned Yogurt

1 eggplant (about 1-1 1/2 pounds)
2 Tbsp Ghee or vegetable oil
1 green chili, minced
1/4 teaspoon asafetida (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp garam masala

1. Cook the eggplant in a 425 degree preheated oven by pricking it a few times all over with a fork and then roasting it on a baking tray or piece of tin foil for one hour, turning every fifteen minutes or so. By the end, the eggplant should be totally pooped and deflated looking.

2. Let the eggplant cool for a while and when you can handle it, scrape the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin.

3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Throw in the cumin, asafetida, and cumin and cook until the cumin seeds are brown.

4. Add the eggplant, coriander and salt, and cook the mixture for ten minutes, breaking up the eggplant with a wooden spoon until it's an even mush.

5. Allow the eggplant to cool in a bowl. Add the cilantro, yogurt and garam masala. Stir well.

6. It's ready to eat, but does well if prepared a day ahead. Spread on frenchbread or pita for a sandwich or serve with flatbread as a dip.


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