Eggplant Kuku

Kuku-ye bademjan

2 large or 6 small eggplants (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into thin strips
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil, butter, or ghee
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 eggs
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

1. Peel the eggplants, cut them lengthwise in quarters if they are large, and salt them to remove bitterness if necessary. Brush each side of the eggplant pieces with egg white to reduce the oil needed for frying.

2. In a skillet, heat 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 10 minutes, until translucent.

3. Add the eggplant and garlic and stir-fry 10 minutes longer, until all sides are lightly golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4. Pour 4 tablespoons of oil into an 8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper.

5. Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the parsley, saffron water, lime juice, baking powder, flour, salt, and pepper. Beat thoroughly with a fork. Add the eggplant, onion and garlic and mix thoroughly.

6. Pour the mixture into the dish and bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until the edge is golden brown.

7. Serve the kuku from the baking dish or unmold it by loosening the edge with a knife and inverting the dish onto a serving platter. Remove the parchment paper.

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