Monday, 19 November 2012

Fried Eggplant Slices Layered With Yoghurt

This dish I first tasted, when I went to visit one of my husband's relatives. I fell in love with the dish instantly, especially since I love all things eggplant, but never got around to asking her for the recipe. So here is my version of it. You could serve it as a raita/curd side dish with any Indian meal.

The ingredients are basic pantry essentials in any Indian cupboard so it is a good dish to put together at short notice and would look amazing at any party meal.

fried eggplant slices layered with yoghurt/ dahi baingan
Fried Eggplant Slices Layered with Yoghurt

Ingredients:
1 big eggplant/brinjal
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsps of kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp of turmeric/haldi powder
1 1/2 tsps of coriander powder
1 1/2 tsps of cumin/jeera powder

2 cups of Yoghurt/Curd, beaten well

Tadka: (last minute seasoning with oil)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
handful of Curry leaves
2 broken dry red chillies 
1 tbsp of oil

Method:
The first step is to cut the eggplant. Once you cut them into slices, my top tip, whenever you make any dish with eggplant slices, is to cut the skin in alternate strips. When you fry eggplant the skin tends to get too tough to eat and by peeling it this way, you avoid that unpleasant ring of eggplant in your mouth. (use this tip when making other dishes involving fried eggplant slices like moussaka).


Lay out the slices on a plate and sprinkle over with salt and the masala powders on each side of the slices. If you want to avoid the dish getting too spicy, I sometimes sprinkle the chilli powder only on the one side. Once that is done you can start frying.





Eggplant takes up a lot of oil when frying. But to avoid using too much, another tip is, once I turn the slices over in the pan, I press the slices a little to release some of that oil. That way you aren't adding more and more oil to the pan. Once you finish the first batch and remove it, dont let the pan sit empty on the fire too long, or the masala that is left on the pan will start to burn. So add the next batch quickly with some more oil. If  you do find that the masala left over is burnt, remove the pan off the fire and quickly wipe it off with some kitchen paper roll.
Once your slices are cooked, leave them to sit on a paper towel to drain away any excess oil. Then layer it at the bottom of your serving dish.





For the yoghurt, beat it simply with a pinch of salt and sugar. Taste it to make sure the seasoning is just right. Now spread it over the eggplant. You should have enough curd to cover over all the eggplant.




For the tadka, heat oil in a small pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds till they splutter, then add the dry chilly and the curry leaves. Remove after a minute and while hot, drizzle over the dish.



I like to make the slices and keep in the morning, and add the yoghurt and tadka just before serving so the curd stays nice and cold. It can keep nicely in the fridge for a day or so as well.

This dish tastes best cold, so it's an easy one to prepare ahead for guests!