DHABA’S Bhurven Baigan Eggplant

Rating: NNNNNWHOSE: P.K. Singh WHERE: Dhaba (see listing page 71) WHAT: Bhurven Baigan Eggplant WHY: Not only is Dhaba an out-of-this-world visual.


Rating: NNNNN


WHOSE: P.K. Singh

WHERE: Dhaba (see listing page 71)

WHAT: Bhurven Baigan Eggplant

WHY: Not only is Dhaba an out-of-this-world visual experience, but it’s a culinary one of the highest order — so much so that it was declared NOW’s 1999 restaurant of the year. This recipe typifies the extraordinary Indian eatery.

WITH WHAT: 1 1-lb baby Italian eggplant, cut into lengthwise quarters

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 tomato, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 onions, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

3 whole cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp olive oil

4 to 6 whole Thai bird chilies (optional)

Spice mix

Mix together in a small bowl:

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp garam masala

Garnish

coriander leaves, chopped

1 tbsp ginger, julienned

1 tomato, quartered

HOW: With a spoon, poke holes into eggplant flesh and stuff with spice mix. In a non-stick pan over medium-high, heat olive oil. Add cumin seeds, garlic, cloves and onions. Cover and allow onions to sweat for one or two minutes. Add eggplant, potatoes and celery, mixing with onions and spices. Cover again, reduce heat to low, and cook for seven to eight minutes. Remove from heat and add tomato, chilies and any remaining spice mix. Bake covered in a pre-heated 400° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with tomato quarters, coriander leaves and julienned ginger. Makes three to four side-dish portions. Serve with rice, or cool to use next day as a sandwich filling.

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