Fire-Roasted Eggplant (Aubergine) With Yogurt
- Ready In:
- 1 medium globe eggplant (approx. 1 lb)
- 1⁄2 cup yogurt
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onions, finely chopped
- 1 fresh green chile, finely chopped (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder (use paprika if you want the color without the heat)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 tablespoons canola oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pinch sugar
- Smoke the eggplant.
- This can be done under the broiler, on an open flame or on an outdoor grill.
- First wash the eggplant and dry thoroughly.
- Using a small knife, pierce the skin all over and rub lightly with the 1 tbsp of oil.
- Place the eggplant on an open flame or under the broiler.
- Turn frequently so it blackens evenly on all sides.
- It is ready when soft and collapses on itself when touched (in 20 to 25 minutes.) Remove in a bowl and set aside.
- While the eggplant is cooling, prepare the yogurt.
- In a serving dish, lightly beat the yogurt with a pinch of sugar and salt to taste.
- Then stir in the chopped onion and cilantro and the (optional) green chili.
- When completely cool, skin the eggplant.
- The skin should peel off easily, leaving the wonderful smoky flesh behind.
- Do not discard the juices that have collected in the bowl.
- Add the juices and the skinned eggplant to the yogurt mixture and combine well.
- Do not mash the eggplant; the naturally lumpy texture is desirable.
- Now make the hot oil dressing.
- Place the chili powder or paprika in a small pile on the eggplant-yogurt mix.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet or butter warmer.
- (Keep a spatter-screen or lid handy.) When the oil just begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds, cover immediately and remove from heat.
- The seeds will pop wildly; do not panic!
- When they stop sputtering, uncover and pour this hot oil dressing directly on the chili powder.
- Do not blend the dressing into the yogurt—instead, swirl it in decoratively just before serving.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
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RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
Ruta teaches Regional Indian cooking at Ruta's Indian Kitchen in Rockridge, Oakland and at Bay Area schools like Sur La Table, Draeger's and Ramekins. Her classes are usually sold out weeks in advance and her school has received glowing reviews in the media, in particular the San Francisco Chronicle. Ruta's classes are structured to be hands-on, informative and fun, and are followed by a sit-down dinner. For a schedule of classes or to read the Chronicle review of Ruta's Indian Kitchen, please visit www.rutaruta.com