Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stir fried eggplant with spinach

Eggplants and spinach - who would have thought they marry well together, other than in an Italian dish - a lasagna maybe. I grew up eating this simple dish as a first course with rice and some clarified butter. Its simplicity is its greatest virtue. I introduced it to my nine year old - an eggplant averse eater and she loves it as well.

Seedless eggplants work best. In summer the eggplants are great and this is not an issue, but at other times of the year, I use the long Chinese eggplants or the baby Italian eggplants which have less or no seeds. Also, if you can, use organic spinach - they don't leave a metallic aftertaste.

Pan roasted eggplant with spinach

1 1/2 cups cubed eggplant (cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 bunch organic spinach, washed, dried and chopped into ribbons
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 dried red chili
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium high heat. (Eggplants absorb oil like  a sponge - hence if you use a regular skillet you will need much more oil, otherwise the eggplant will stick to the skillet). Add the eggplant and let it cook for about 3 minutes till it is brown on one side. Flip around to brown the other side for another few minutes. Don't let them burn. Once browned on both sides, lower the heat to medium low, sprinkled half a teaspoon of salt and cover. Cook till the eggplant is soft. Remove to the serving bowl and set aside.

2. In the same skillet, heat another 1/2 tablespoon canola oil. Add the nigella seeds and the dried red chili. When the chili is light brown - about 30 seconds, add the chopped spinach and toss well. Cook till the spinach has just wilted. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the sugar and mix. Add the cooked eggplant to the spinach mixture and mix well. Saute till the eggplant and spinach mixture is dry and shiny (like the picture).

Serves 2  - 3

1 comment:

  1. I have a container of nigella seeds in the cup board that I have never used except for one time I sprinkled over a dish for embellishment. Sauteing in seems like a good way to bring out its flavor.
    Will try this :)