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Spicy pan-fried aubergine (egg plant)

Written By Reena on 28 May 2009 | 20:41

Serves 2 as a main course.

This is a full flavoured dry dish although not a particularly hot one. Steve and I tend to eat it as a main course with bread and salad but I have on occasion served it as a side dish or starter on a bed of salad leaves.

  • 1 medium potato (or a handful of baby potatoes)
  • 1 large aubergine (egg plant)
  • 1 medium-sized green chilli
  • Large handful of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin-coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ tablespoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tablespoons of light tasting vegetable oil

  1. Slice the potato into 1 cm thick round slices and then boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Slice the aubergine into 1 cm thick round slices and score the slices twice on each side (the incisions help the flavour of the spices infuse into the aubergine). Place the sliced aubergine in a bowl of cold water to prevent oxidisation.
  3. Next finely chop the green chilli and the coriander leaves. When preparing the coriander I actually find it easier to chop it first and then rinse it in a large sieve.
  4. Mix the cumin-coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, chilli powder, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and then add the chopped green chilli and the coriander leaves. Next add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to this mix and stir to form a coarse paste.
  5. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid.  You can use less oil if you are using a non-stick pan.
  6. Coat each side of the aubergine slices with the paste and place them in the hot oil. If you run out of surface area in the pan then just place the aubergine on top of other slices – occasional stirring later will ensure that all of the slices are cooked. If the oil starts to sizzle then just turn down the heat slightly. Spoon any remaining paste over any slices of aubergine in the pan. Add the drained potatoes to the pan.
  7. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat. Then turn the slices of aubergine. You will see that the cooked sides have become tender and darker. Cook for a further 10 minutes. At this point check that the aubergine is cooked and then serve.

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