Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce

Bouranee Baunjaun

For the Yogurt Sauce:
2 cups plain yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Eggplant
4 medium eggplants, about 2 lbs (900 g),
unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices
vegetable oil for frying
2 medium onions, sliced
1 green bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and sliced
into rings
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Begin with the yogurt sauce. Place the yogurt in a coffee filter or double thickness of cheesecloth in a colander or strainer and place over a dish. Allow to drain for 2 to 4 hours, until the yogurt is the consistency of softened cream cheese. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and spread on a tray. Leave for 30 minutes and dry with paper towels. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large, deep skillet with a lid over moderate heat and fry the eggplant slices until lightly browned on both sides - do not cook completely. Transfer to a plate and sauté the onion slices in the same skillet, adding more oil as necessary, until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate. Place half the eggplant in the skillet, followed by half the onion slices, green pepper rings, and tomato slices. Season with cayenne and salt and repeat. Add the water and simmer covered until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes.

Spread half the yogurt sauce over a serving platter. Lift the vegetables from the skillet using a large spatula and place them on top of the sauce. Top the vegetables with the remaining yogurt sauce and drizzle with any liquid remaining in the skillet.

Serves 6 to 8.

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