Punjabi Eggplant and Tamarind
Baarta (3 votes)
3 medium eggplants
Punch holes all over the eggplants with a fork. Bake at 450 until partially darkened, soft, and mangled looking. (About 45 minutes.) It will look awful on the outside but will be nice and roasted on the inside.
3 tablespoons oil
2 onions, sliced into thick rings
5 cloves garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon crushed red chile
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 to 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate*
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro
Put groups of ingredients in individual small glasses or other containers. The turmeric and chile in one; the cumin, black pepper, and coriander in a second; the tamarind and lemon juice in a third.
While the eggplant is cooking fry the onions in the oil over medium /med-high heat until they turn golden brown. Add the garlic for the last two minutes. Add the turmeric and red chile and sizzle, then add the cumin, black pepper and coriander, and stir. Add the tomatoes and peas and continue cooking, stirring frequently until the tomatoes are dissolved and the mixture has a saucy consistency. (You may have to add a little water to prevent scorching.)
Mix the lemon juice and tamarind until smooth. Add into the onion/tomato mixture. Let the eggplant cool enough to handle. Scoop out the eggplant pulp (should be soft) and mush. Then add it into the other mixture. Take off heat and add in the cilantro.
* [* Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian and Middle Eastern stores. Don't buy the blocks of tamarind pulp by mistake as it's a pain to use].
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