Indian Eggplant Spread

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1 large eggplant
salt to taste
cayenne pepper
1 large garlic clove
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 shallots
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
lemon slices (optional)
3 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
fresh parsley sprig (optional)
1 lemon peel, finely grated
pita bread, cut in strips
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prick eggplant several times with a fork.

Bake eggplant in preheated oven 30-40 minutes or until softened and skin has turned dark brown. Cool, trim ends and peel eggplant. Process flesh in a blender or food processor with garlic, shallots, Garam Masala, tahini, lemon peel and juice until smooth and evenly combined.

Season with salt. Spoon mixture into a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprig, if desired, and serve with pita bread.

Yield: 6 servings

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