Smoked Eggplant Salad (version II)

6 large purple eggplant
6-8 garlic cloves
salt to taste
juice of 1-2 lemons
2 tablespoons yoghurt or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped parsley or coriander
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint (optional)

Heat a barbecue until coals are red hot then place the eggplants directly on the barbecue plate and allow them to char all over turning often, about 30 - 40 minutes until they look like deflated purple balloons and the skin is blackened. (If you don't have a barbecue, you can do this in a grill pan or old fry pan set over a gas stove).

When the eggplants have cooled, cut them in half and scrape out all the flesh into a bowl, discarding the skin.

Pound the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle until a paste forms then add this to the eggplant with the lemon juice, yoghurt or mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly then adjust seasoning with more salt and lemon juice if desired.

Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with parsley or coriander and a little fresh chopped mint.

Serve with crusty bread.

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