Smoky Indian Eggplant

indian eggplant dipHeather familyWhen I first married my husband, who is Indian, his mother gave me a beautiful cookbook called The Food of India. The photos are beautiful and mouth-watering. This recipe is one of my favorites. My mostly Irish-Hungarian family, who does’t always care for spicy Indian dishes, loves this. I changed it a bit to make it easier for me.

2 large eggplants
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
⅓ cup oil
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5-6 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Roasting eggplants: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the whole eggplant on the pan, prick with a fork in several places, and rub with olive oil. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool.
Once cool, peel off the charred skin and discard. Roughly chop the eggplant flesh.
Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili in a food processor. Pulse until chopped but not smooth.
Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed-frying pan. Add the onion mixture and cook until browned. Add all the spices, including the salt and pepper and stir for another minute. Add the chopped tomato and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Add roasted eggplant to the pan and mash with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro leaves and serve with naan, small toasts, or even veggies to dip.
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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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