Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Stir fried eggplants - South Indian style

This is a South Indian version of a stir fried eggplant dish. the farmers markets in summer are filled with various kinds of eggplants. I used fairytale eggplants, which are 3 to 4 inches long and slender and not bitter either. They are easily available in farmers markets during the summer months. These small eggplants are combined with red onions and a fragrant mixture of spices and lentils and perked up with a healthy dose of dried red chili to produce this mouth watering dish. Serve with steam rice and a soupy lentil dish like sambar or rasam.

Stir fried eggplants - South Indian style
1 lb fairy eggplant
1 1/2 cups sliced red onions
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon urad dal
1 tablespoon chana dal
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  1. Trim the tops of the eggplants and quarter them vertically or halve them depending on the thickness of the eggplant.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, urad dal and chana dal separately for about two minutes each over medium low heat. Make sure they do not burn. Once cool, grind the coriander coarsely in a coffee grinder. Set aside. Then grind the two roasted dals into a fine powder. Mix the three powders in a bowl to be added at the end.
  3. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet with olive oil over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. when the seeds begin to pop, add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes stirring once or twice.
  4. Add the eggplants to the onion mixture and the turmeric powder. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. Cook covered over medium low heat for 8 to 10 minutes till the eggplants are soft. Toss after every 3 minutes.
  5. Once the eggplants are soft, add the spice powder and the dried chili flakes. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes over medium low heat. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt accordingly.
Serves 4 as part of a composed meal

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