December 11, 2017
Eggplant charred on a gas stove top develops a smoky flavor and a perfect texture for a spread or a dip. If you do not have a gas stove, make a friend with someone who does. Without the char you won’t get the same, satisfying taste.
Makes 3 cups
1 medium eggplant (approximately 1 pound)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kalonji seeds
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 serrano pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Using a burner on a gas stove, place the eggplant directly on the burner and char it, moving to different sides periodically until all sides of the skin are black and the inside appears soft and mushy. Resist the urge to touch often and let it burn . Otherwise the char gets into the eggplant flesh. Set aside for 5 to 6 minutes to allow the eggplant to continue cooking. When it is still warm to the touch, peel off all of the black, charred skin and discard. Chop the insides of the eggplant and reserve.
Heat up the olive oil and pop the kalonji seeds. Immediately add the red onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on low heat until the onion gets a bit of color.
Add the chopped eggplant, turmeric, salt, black pepper, dates, and serrano. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, allowing the dates to get soft.
Garnish with cilantro, olive oil, and sesame seeds.
Best served at room temp as a dip or spread with breads or rotis.
Make a festive board with cranberry roti, mint chutney, pickled onions and toasted nuts.
December 02, 2022