Indian Spiced Braised Eggplant

Khatti Bhaji

Whenever I get eggplant I think about making this dish. If I also have okra, my friends and family are in for an Indian delight. Nothing makes Indian food better than fresh vegetables and good quality oil.

1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes and then soaked for 15 minutes or more in water with salt. Strain in colander.

Heat large cast iron pan on medium-high and add:

2 T sesame oil or other good quality vegetable oil

When oil is quite warm add:

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

Sauté until translucent (or nearly so).

Add eggplant and continue to sauté, stirring every 3-4 minutes. Do not stir too frequently – give time for each side of the eggplant cubes to cook.

After about 8-10 minutes, when eggplant has softened, add:

2-3 chilies (optional)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ t turmeric, ground

1 t cumin, ground

½ t coriander, ground

½  t cayenne pepper (optional)

½ t mango powder (optional)

1/8 asafetida, ground (optional)

and stir.

After another few minutes, add:

1 large tomato, chopped

1 T ginger, minced

1 ½ t sea salt, or to taste

When the juices of the tomato have cooked off, test eggplant with knife – when soft all the way through, it is done. If it is still a little hard in the center of the bigger pieces, give it a little more time.

Serve on basmati rice, with Marsala Bhindi (Okra) and Dal.


Adapted from Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by Julie Sahni

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