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Eggplant Baked with Yogurt

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Vegetarian, eggplant, baked, North India

Anula Bhusry

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA but moved back to India with my parents when I was 4 years old. I did not know much cooking till I got married to Sanjiv, who is a gourmet cook. One of his hobbies is cooking. I was forced to compete with him! We moved to the US in 1998 and since then have been living in a suburb of Washington D.C. with our two daughters.

Sanjiv and I had been dating before we got married in Delhi in 1985. So, at the time of our wedding, I knew that Sanjiv was a diehard non-vegetarian, who did not care much for vegetarian food. And he did not like eggplant cooked in any Indian style.

Sukesh Gugani - Anula Bhuaji
Soon after our wedding, my Bhuaji (father's sister), Shrimati Sukesh Gugani, invited Sanjiv and me to her home for dinner. Bhuaji's family are strictly vegetarians, and I wondered whether Sanjiv would eat any dinner at all at her home because there would be no meat dishes. Even though there was a risk it would be an embarrassing evening, it was not possible for me to turn down my Bhuaji's invitation - I am very fond of her.

As expected, when Bhuaji served dinner, the food was very well presented. One of the dishes was eggplant with yogurt! I thought that Sanjiv would just nibble at the food and claim that he was full.

Surprise! Sanjiv enjoyed the eggplant dish so much that he took three helpings of it. I just had to take the recipe from my Bhuaji so that I could make it myself. Bhuaji had learnt this dish from her in-laws and they had a small round electric oven at that time.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size purple eggplant cut lengthwise in thin slices
  • 2.5 cups of yogurt/curd
  • 6 big cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 0.5 tsp. red chili powder
  • 0.5 tsp. paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method

Hang the yogurt in a fine cloth to drain out all water.

Add salt about 1tsp. to the eggplant slices to drain out their water. Keep aside for 0.5 hours. Dry the eggplant slices between two sheets of paper towels. Then deep-fry these slices until they are golden brown.

Mix garlic, all spices and a little salt to the hung curd.

Grease an ovenproof dish.

Layer the dish with fried eggplant slices, then with a layer of the curd mixture, and so forth making sure that the top layer is the curd mixture.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes and then broil for a few minutes until the top is light brown.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot.


© Anula Bhusry, USA 2011