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Vegan Indian Recipes - Salads and Sweets
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Eggplant Cooked in the Pickling Style

Source: Madhur Jaffrey, Indian Cooking
Number of Servings: 6

  • 1 inc ginger, fresh, cube, peeled, chopped
  • 6 ea garlic, cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 lb eggplant (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1 1/2 cup oil, vegetable
  • 1 tsp fennel, seeds, whole
  • 1/2 tsp kalonji (black onion seeds) or cumin seeds
  • 3 ea tomatoes, medium, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp coriander, ground
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric, ground
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp salt
1) Put the chopped ginger and garlic in a blender or processor. Add 1/4 cup water and blend until fairly smooth.

2) Cut eggplant into slices or wedges that are 3/4 inch thick and about 2 inches long. Set a sieve over a bowl.

3) Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a deep, 10 to 12 inch frying pan or saucepan over a medium-high flame. When hot, put as many eggplant slices as the pan will hold in a single layer. Let them turn a reddish brown color. Turn them over and brown the opposite sides. Remove slices and put them in the sieve. Add another 1/2 cup of oil to the frying pan and heat it. Brown a second batch of eggplant slices, as you did the first. You will probably need to do 3 batches, adding fresh oil to the frying pan each time. (Either let the eggplant drain for about an hour at this point or remove some of the oil later.)

4) Put 3 tablespoons of oil in the frying pan and heat it over a medium flame. When hot put in the fennel seeds and kalonji, or substitute whole cumin seeds (the recipe will be much more authentic with the kalonji. As soon as the fennel seeds turn a few shades darker (just a few seconds), put in the chopped tomato, the ginger-garlic mixture, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and salt (original recipe called for 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; we thought this far too much). Stir and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon. Turn the heat up slightly and continue to stir and cook until the spice mixture becomes thick and pastelike.

5) Put the fried eggplant slices in the sauce and mix gently. Cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring very gently. Cover the pan, turn heat to very low and cook another 5 to 10 minutes if you think necessary. (Oil will have collected at the bottom of the frying pan. Use a slotted spoon to lift eggplant out of this oil when you serve.) The dish may be served hot or cold. If served cold, refrigerate with its oil and take it from the oil only when you serve.

May be served as a first course on lettuce leaves or as a vegetable with other cold dishes. Jeffrey credits the recipe to Shankerlal, chef at the Palace Hotel in Udaipur.