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Can I say that I am in love with eggplants? Or perhaps a better word would be obsessed. When I got married, a gazillion years ago, the man of my dreams loved everything I cooked except he would not even touch eggplants. No matter what I did, which recipe, nothing worked. It was just a no. He just didnt like it, was his explanation. Now you cannot be married to a crazy, eggplant-obsessed person and say that you dont like eggplant. Just doesnt work. I kept trying and then one day, just to make me happy (or get me off his back), he tried a bite of a roasted eggplant and yogurt dip I made. Ah! I thought he would convert instantly. Well….  

It has taken 17 years and now he loves eggplant as much as I do. Just goes to show you, that if you live (and cook) long enough, you see everything. 

Here is one of my all-time fav eggplant recipes. It is a recipe I learned from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and is adapted from the original one. 

Almond Filled Eggplant

Serves 4 – 6

6 baby eggplants

4 tablespoons Indian chickpea flour (besan)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 shallots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons coarsely ground almonds

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground mango powder

Salt to taste

Here we go – Normally, I avoid anything in the kitchen that uses string but I had to try this as it sounded so amazing. 

1. Slit the eggplants while keeping them together at the roots. Set aside

2. In a small skillet, heat the flour and cook (stirring) for a minute or so until fragrant. Set aside. 

3. Rinse and dry the skillet, now add and heat a tablespoon of oil. Saute the shallots until they are browned and soft. Remove from the skillet and set aside. 

4. In a bowl, combine the flour, cilantro, ground almonds, all the spices and salt. Mix well. Using your hands or a spoon, fill this mixture into the eggplants. Tie a kitchen thread around the eggplant to hold it together. 

5. Continue until all the eggplants are filled and secured. 

6. Heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet. Gently place the eggplants in the hot oil. Cook for about 3- 4 minutes on each side until well-browned. (FLip only once as the eggplant will fall apart otherwise). 

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7. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes on the lowest heat setting until the eggplant is totally cooked and very tender. 

8. Serve with the shallots and a side of rice. 

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