Fried Eggplant (version II)

1 large eggplant
1/2 cup oil or more for frying
3 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
cooked rice, optional
lemon wedges

Peel eggplant and cut into slices 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle generously with salt and place slices in colander to drain 15 to 20 minutes.

Rinse slices and pat dry. Cook eggplant slices, 3 to 4 slices at a time, in oil in large skillet over medium-high heat (slices should not touch). Fry on both sides until flesh is dark tan and seeds quite brown, 5 to 7 minutes. As slices are done, remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, adding more oil as needed. Reserve frying oil.

Press garlic cloves . Mash eggplant slices with garlic and lemon juice, or puree together in food processor. Fry in reserved oil over medium heat until moisture is driven away, about 20 minutes. Drain oil from eggplant mixture and stir into stew.

Serve with rice and lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

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