Eggplant takes well to the dark, sultry flavors of urfa biber, all the more so when charred first over blistering heat. Use a high-fat strained yogurt for the sauce, or it might break.
- 1 pound eggplant, chopped into large cubes
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons urfa biber
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted
- 1 cup strained (Greek) yogurt
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Toss eggplant with several heavy pinches of salt and place in a colander over sink. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet on high until it smokes, then add just enough olive oil to thinly coat bottom. Add eggplant and toss to coat with oil. Stir infrequently for five minutes until eggplant develops a char on several sides. Reduce heat to medium and cook until eggplant is very tender, stirring more frequently than before to prevent burning.
Add garlic, urfa biber, and cumin and cook for 1 minute or until spices are aromatic, then turn off heat and quickly stir in yogurt to coat. Cook until yogurt sauce tightens slightly and little pools of orange oil form. Add salt to taste and serve immediately with a garnish of chopped cilantro.