This nicely seasoned vegetarian entree is usually served with Indian breads such as tandoori roti or nan.
- 3 pounds eggplants (about 2 medium)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, such as Nirav brand
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or cayenne powder
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- Salt (optional)
- Finely chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil.
Use a knife to cut a few shallow, inch-long slits in each eggplant; brush the eggplants with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place in the pan and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the eggplants over and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and their skin is charred. Transfer the pan to the counter for a few minutes. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Use a fork to mash the eggplant into a smooth pulp. Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander and chili powder or cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, then use a spatula or potato masher to mash the tomatoes and incorporate them into the mixture. Cook, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes or until the oil starts to separate from the mixture. Add the eggplant pulp and cook, stirring, for several minutes, until the eggplant is incorporated and the mixture is heated through. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve hot.
Adapted from "The Everything Indian Cookbook," by Monica Bhide (Adams Media, 2004).
Tested by Leslie A. Garcia.
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