Lucknowi baingan (lucknow style eggplant)
( SERVES 4 )
Although a simple recipe, this Lucknow-style eggplant dish is very elegant and a popular vegetarian starter.
- Slice the eggplants into 1.5cm-thick rounds. Rub with some salt, half the turmeric and chilli powder, and set aside for few minutes. Peel and chop the tomatoes and onions. Peel the ginger and garlic, then grind into a paste. Pick and chop coriander leaves.
- Remove the whey from the yoghurt. This can be done in two ways: put the yoghurt in a muslin cloth, tie the top and suspend it over a bowl; or place in a strainer (it takes longer in the strainer). When done, place the yoghurt in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, the juice of half a lime and some coriander, and whisk well.
- Pan-fry the eggplant slices until lightly browned on both sides. Place on an oiled baking tray. Heat oil in another pan. Add the onion and sauté well. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook well. Add the remaining turmeric, the chilli powder and then the tomatoes. Season with salt and simmer, reducing the sauce until it thickens. Finish off with garam masala, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Spread a little sauce on each of the eggplant slices, then cover the tray with foil, sealing well on all sides. Bake in a 180C oven for about 5 minutes.
- Serve topped with the yoghurt mix.