If you have a gas stovetop, you can cook the eggplant directly on the gas flame as it gets a lovely, smoky flavor that you can’t get if you oven-bake it. Use a pair of tongs to turn it every minute or so—it should take about 8 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness and size of the eggplant. This smoky eggplant is cooked with different spices and flavorings around India—it is a Maharashtrian dish with the addition of locally grown peanuts.
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- Brush the eggplant with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or corn oil and place on a rack under the broiler, ensuring that you put the broiler pan underneath to collect the juice. Turn from time to time until the eggplant is soft and the skin is crispy and dry. Alternatively, cook it directly over a gas flame for about
- Let the eggplant cool slightly, then peel off the skin—it should come off easily. Mash the eggplant flesh in a bowl with a fork until there are no long strands. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or corn oil in a frying pan and fry the onion on high heat until it starts to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add the chilies, then reduce the heat and cook for 6–7 minutes, until you can cut through a piece of onion easily. Add the tomato and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
- Remove from the heat. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro, then mix in the mashed eggplant. Scoop the mixture into a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes, then finish it off by stirring in the yogurt. Sprinkle the peanuts on top.
- Serve cold as a dip with pita breads or naans.
Indian in 7: Delicious Indian Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj © 2019 Kyle Books.
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