Now, I have often often and more than often mentioned my terrific love foe eggplants. And that has its roots right in this place I grew up and still call home. My grandmom makes some of the best mashed eggplant dishes. And as kids I and my sister used to not like them a lot. However, as we left home at 18 we both, somehow, started adoring these very dishes and even made trips back home just for these. Talk about juvenile insanity :) Of course now my love manifests in stronger ways as I try to come up with new recipes for eggplant.
But nowhere does it taste as good as it does right here. At home in winter. The whole idea involved roasting a whole eggplant over open charcoal oven. The smoked smell of charcoal infusing into the eggplant as it slowly roasted for about 30 minutes. And the house filled up with the smoky smell as I used to curl out of bed on those foggy days from a lifetime ago.
Yesterday, I got the same smell. The very know and dear smoked smell. For a long time now, the roasting used to be done in regular ovens. But yesterday it was that very smell. I ran downstairs to see our age old dear cook roasting eggplant over open charcoal grill. The thrill was...was just. I took this oppertunity to make a dish which combined the elements of my beloved eggplant dish and a turkish recipe on which I have honed my mashing skills many a day. Yogurt- garlic- shallot mashed eggplant...
So here is that lovely eggplant mashed and made indo-turkish. Did I just invent a cuisine? :)
1 big eggplant
2-3 shallots finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 Jalapeno finely chopped. Optional for heat
1/2 cup of good quality yogurt
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of olive oil
A handful of coriander or Parsley for garnish
Simply mash and mix
Okay you can grill the eggplant on a regular grill or for the lovlier flavor even on a charcoal grill. But for most of us we can use the regular oven. Preheat oven to 500F for 10 min. Then roast your eggplant on high for 15 minutes and then broil for 15 minutes on high. When done, immedietly soak it in a tub of cold water. This helps for easy removal of the skin. Let it do so for 5 minutes. Peel of the skin. I like to leave in bits for flavor. mix it with all the ingredient and mash and mix till it is consistent.
Garnish with Cilantro/ parsley and serve with warm Pita.
The garlic and yoghurt part from Turkish dish and the rest from my grandmom. At home we used to have it at night with warm Indian bread. It was gorgeous.
Happy eating and healthy living!