I suppose I subconsciously made this dish in reaction to my grand declaration that only roasted eggplants were worth eating. But it's just not true. I was initially attracted to this recipe for eggplant baingan kachri from Recipe Gullet because of the spice mix. The combination looked like no eggplant dish I'd had before. I didn't mind that the eggplant was sautéed—I just wanted to spruce up a weekday meal.
But it's the eggplant, not the spices, that is extraordinary. When done, the outside becomes crispy and crunchy while the insides turn luscious and velvety. It's my new favorite way to cook eggplant. The key is to use just a little oil and cook it for a long time—about 30 minutes in a pan over medium heat. It may sounds crazy, but you can't argue with results like this.
About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Spice Mix
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Cut the eggplant crosswise into 1-inch slices. Score one side of the eggplants with an "x" about a half-inch deep. Sprinkle each slice with a little salt and set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the spices.
Pour the canola oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Wipe the salt off the eggplant slices and add them, cut side down, to the skillet. Cook for fifteen minutes.
Turn the slices over and sprinkle each slice with the spice mix. Cook for 7 minutes.
Turn the slices over, sprinkle with more of the spice mix, and cover the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes.
Transfer the slices to a plate, sprinkle with a little more of the spice mix, and drizzle the olive oil on top.