Grilled and Fried Eggplants

(3 votes)

8 small eggplants about 4-5 inches long
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
vegetable oil
lime wedges

Rinse eggplants but do not trim off caps. Cut a tiny slit in each to prevent bursting. Set on preheated boiler rack as close as possible to heat source. Broil, turning once, until the skins have blackened and become puffy, about 5 minutes. Do not let eggplants become soft.

Holding stem of each eggplant, carefully pull off its skin. Gently press each to flatten it. At this point you can leave the eggplants for several hours, lightly covered, or go to the next step.

Prepare batter:
Mix water and salt in a bowl. Sift in flour, beating with a fork. Cover and let stand for at least an hour.

When ready to serve, heat 1/4-1/2 in. vegetable oil to 350°F in a wide skillet, preferably electric. Dip each eggplant in batter. Fry until richly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Drain on paper towels and serve with lime wedges.

Yield: 9 servings

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