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Stuffed Aubergine


Serves Four

1/2 teaspoon garlic chutney (see page 51)
3/4 cup besan (chick-pea flour)*
4 tablespoons oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Eggplant:
6 or 7 small "Japanese-style" eggplants
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Prepare the garlic chutney according to the recipe. Only part of this paste will be used for this recipe. The rest of the chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for future use. In a large bowl mix 1/2 teaspoon of the prepared chutney with the besan by rubbing the chutney in with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the flour and mix with your hands until you have a stiff, lumpy consistency. Put this stuffing aside.

Wash the eggplants and remove the green top portion from each one. If the eggplants arc more than 5 or 6 inches long, they should be cut in lull ID form 2 equal-size pieces (do not cut in lull lengthwise but through the wide center). Then slice each half or whole eggplant halfway through lengthwise so that each one has a sort of pocket where the stuffing will go. Fill each eggplant piece with about a teaspoon of the stuffing and set them aside. Do not fill so much that the stuffing will fall out easily when the eggplants are cooked.

In a medium-size pot heat the remaining 2 table spoons of oil over a low temperature. Add the mustard seeds and when they have finished popping, carefully add the eggplants. Then add turmeric and gently stir with a wooden spoon. Cover the pot and cook the eggplants for 6 or 7 minutes, occasionally shaking the pot so that the oil will coat each one. Uncover the pot and add the water and 1 teaspoon of salt, recover and cook over a low temperature for 15 more minutes. Shake the covered pot every 5 minutes during this cooking time. Don't be concerned if some of the stuffing falls to the bottom of the pot. It will combine with the water to make a really delicious, thick sauce. At the end of the cooking time taste some of the sauce and correct the seasoning if necessary. Add the lemon juice. Stir for the last time and serve.

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