This recipe for Baby Eggplant with Tomato and Masala Spices is a taste sensation and the masala spice flavours are even better a few days later.
I made this dish based on my overabundance of baby eggplants on my tree and as I love anything Indian especially with eggplants how could I go wrong. I was still eating this dish a few days later and the flavours were even better. The Panch Phoran spice mix is a combination of fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds and makes for a wonderful addition to any vegetable dish. You can buy this spice blend from selected stores that stock spices.
• 1 tbsp. chili powder
• 2 tbsp. ground coriander
• 1 tbsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. garam masala
• Good pinch of salt
• 1 tblsp panch phoran, crushed
• 3 tbsp. of olive oil
• 10 long baby eggplants
• 3 tbsp. of masala spice mix
• ½ tsp. extra of panch phoran
• 3 green chillies, cut in half
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• ½ tsp. turmeric
• 2 tins diced peeled tomatoes or 5 fresh tomatoes blended
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne strips
Masala spice – Combine all the spices together and store in a jar.
Cut the eggplants lengthways in half, keeping them intact at the stalk and rub them with the Masala spice so that are nicely covered in side.
Heat the oil over a moderate heat in a large frypan that will hold all of the eggplant. Fry the eggplant in batches until golden on all sides, about 10 minutes all up or until they are almost cooked. Remove the eggplant and set aside.
Add into the pan the panch phoran, and cook until they start to pop, then add the chillies, diced onions and spices and cook for 7-8 minutes until the onions have softened.
Add in the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes or until the oil separates from the sauce.
Add in the eggplants and cook for a further 20 minutes until the eggplants have cooked through. You may need to add a little water to the sauce if it becomes too thick.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with the lemon juice and fresh coriander scattered over the top.