Indonesian-Style Grilled Eggplant with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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1 eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 long fresh hot red chili, (2 inch) chopped fine, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
vegetable oil for brushing the eggplant

Sprinkle the eggplant lightly with salt, let it drain in a colander for 1 hour, and pat it dry.

In a small saucepan cook the garlic, the shallot, and the chili in the sesame oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, add the peanuts, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, the sugar, the lemon juice, and 1 cup water, boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it is thickened slightly, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Brush the eggplant, patted dry, with the vegetable oil and grill it on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals, turning it, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until it is just cooked. Transfer the eggplant to a serving plate and spoon the peanut sauce over it.

Serves 4.

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