Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fire Your Eggplant! Eggplant in Coconut, Spices and Buttermilk

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am simply nuts for Fall. Mmmm, Fall, nuts, yes. Must buy nuts.  Aside from my obsession with cherries which is the one bright spot in Summer for me, I like the colder months. I don't do well in direct sunlight, and yes it's because I have the coloring of that white asparagus that comes in cans, and I handle heat about as well as one of those 1970 Jaguars where one couldn't run the air conditioning and the radio at the same time without breaking down in the middle of the street.

   Winter is fabulous, and has all the stuff I love, cold, rain, and fog. But, it also has all those pesky stress inducing holidays. At our house that includes all the usual suspects plus Alans' birthday and our wedding anniversary (don't know what I was thinking when I planned a December wedding.)  Spring has rain, rain, rain, mud and flowers coming up, wonderful tender young vegetables but that dang summer is right behind and I just can't forget.

    I am an autumn. 
   Remember those late night TV info-mercials about finding your color? Are you a Spring, a Winter, a Summer or a Fall? Usually it was hosted by some lady who was buried in a mountain of neck scarves and a couple of coats of spackle passing for blush.

   She'd hold paint chips up against your face ask you about your relationship with your mother and  declare, "You're a Spring!" then sell you a butt-load of make-up Not Found In Stores!!!  This always invlolved about six easy payments of $39.99 plus shipping and handling to an address in Parsippany New Jersey. Bottom line: You probably could find out the same information cheaper hanging around the paint department at Home Depot.
   But seasonal beauty hints aside, we are now smack dab in the middle of Autumn for real, and all that that implies. Around here, one of the main things is eggplant, fire roasted eggplant. I've cooked eggplant in a variety of ways in all the years I've been cooking Indian food, and flame roasting it is one of my favorite ways to go. Prepared this way, eggplant can be an appetizer, a side dish, and even a flatbread or pizza topping. Also, it makes up quickly which is always a plus in these pre holiday, sports watching, days.

Flame Roasted Eggplant With Spices, Coconut, and Buttermilk

Here's What You Need:

1 large eggplant
5 dried red chilies
1 tsp of black mustard seeds
1/2 cup of grated fresh or frozen coconut or dried unsweetened coconut
4 whole shallots
1 and 1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
2 tsp of vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)

Here's What To Do:

Rub the eggplants with a bit of vegetable oil.
Place the eggplant directly on a grill or over the flame of your stove.
(You can also roast them on a cookie sheet on the top rack of a 450 degree oven)
Roast them until the skin is charred on the outside. Rotate them as you cook.

Let them cool and then peel away the charred skin.

Mash the eggplant, put it in a bowl, and set it aside.

Put 3 of the dried chilies, 1/2 tsp of mustard seed, coconut, shallots, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 cup of water in a blender, grinder or food processor.
Grind it all to a fine paste.
Pour the buttermilk into the eggplant and stir it in.

Add in 1 tsp of salt.
Add in the ground spice coconut paste.

Set it aside.
In a small pan or skillet, heat 2 Tsp of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot toss in 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds.
When the seeds start to pop, tear up the last 2 red chilies and drop them into the pan.
Saute everything for about 30 seconds.
Pour the hot oil, and spices into the eggplant buttermilk mixture then cover the pan so that the heat and spices permeate the eggplant.

Let it rest for a bit, then take the lid off and serve it up.

   This is an excellent cold salad to serve as a side dish, a killer dip with pita chips or flat bread and a relish that would be great on a lamb or chicken sandwich. This is one of those basic recipes that can be used for a variety of purposes. It's the Swiss Army Knife of my kitchen and it can dig you out of all sort of dinner crunches.
   Coming up next, rooting for root vegetables more fall specials and fun with turnips. Yes, turnips. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. My mouth watered just reading the title of this post! Looks delish.

    1. Thanks, I love eggplant in any form and any cuisine!

  2. I definitely love autumn - what a great way to roast eggplants!!

    1. It works in the oven too, it's just that one doesn't get the nice smokey flavor

  3. Love love love this recipe. I never matched up to any season, Go figure.

  4. Besides a great looking recipe that was also very funny, so thank you for that. My eggplant decided at the last minute to produce another handful of eggplants and I was going to make babba ganoush, but now I'm thinking I'll give this a go instead.

  5. Kathy - this looks so good and you made me laugh! I'm an autumn too but self declared!

  6. Mmmm good. Hello Autumn; meet Spring. Love the spring and love the colors of it too!

  7. I am going to make this soon. I usually make baigan bharta but it's time to have a change.


  8. Absolutely loved this recipe. I will definitely try this out as soon as possible



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