Happy New Year to all of you! Hope you have had a wonderful start!
Allow me to begin the year with a light refreshing recipe. The over indulgence of the past couple of months have left me with not just a few extra pounds but also a kind of aversion to food and cooking, which in a way is a good thing; less appetite is exactly what I need right now.
The holidays were well spent with my little family. The girls and A are back to school and work and the house was too quite to be for real. I have a confess that I did miss all the laughter and the silliness that went around for the past few weeks. We did eat out a lot, so I took a good break from the kitchen. The new year’s eve was quietly spent between the four of us at home, with some movies. And I cannot believe that we just left another year behind us.
Now to begin the new year, we have decided to go light for sometime or at least until we shed the extras and get back the urge to explore more.
This winter has been really pleasant and mild so far and the mints in my yard are alive green and dancing in the sun. This is so much like a light spring recipe, and an easy one too. A lot of fresh mint muddled with garlic, pepper and coriander…
a handsome eggplant, (try to get one with less seeds)…
and a few minutes in the pan, results in a delectable side dish or to have in a wrap or sandwich or even on pasta. Some toasted pine nuts sprinkled on the eggplants would have enhanced it a little bit more, but I realized that only after we were done eating.
Eggplant with Tomato, Garlic and Mint
Ingredients: (serves 3-4 as a side)
- 1 medium eggplant/brinjal/aubergine, (or 2 long Chinese eggplant) – sliced into 1.5 inch long and 1/4 inch thick strips or into 1/3 inch thick circles
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 green chili pepper, (you can use the spicy ones if you want more heat)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, divided
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 large onion, (1 cup approximately – sliced) – sliced into thin half moons
- 1 large tomato, grated or very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons oil
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- some toasted pine nuts, optional
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder, optional
- some more fresh mint leaves for garnish
Wash and slice the eggplants. Sprinkle a lot of salt on the slices, toss well for the salt to cover the surfaces of the slices and allow them to sit for about 30-45 minutes in a colander. This will take out the bitterness from the eggplants. Rinse well and squeeze out the water from them.
Pound or process the garlic cloves, coriander seeds, chili pepper and 1/4 cup mint leaves into a coarse paste. Shred the rest 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves and set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onions and cook until they are softened and starting to turn golden. Add the rinsed and well drained eggplants to the pan. Add salt, turmeric and chili powder. Cook on high heat while stirring constantly to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pan. When the eggplants start to have brown spots at the edges, add the mint coriander garlic paste and the tomatoes. Stir everything in, lower the heat and cover the pan.
Cook covered until the eggplants soften and are cooked through. The cooking time will vary with the kind of eggplants you choose.
Uncover and cook, while stirring and tossing; if the spice mix sticks to the pan, add a splash of water. Cook until the mix dries off and there is only enough water for the spices to coat the eggplants. Adjust salt. Stir in the shredded mint and the toasted pine nuts if you are using them.
Remove from heat. Garnish with more mint and serve warm with flat breads or over rice/pasta.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes + 30 min. – 45 min. standing time
Cooking Time: 15 minutes approx.
Serves: 3-4 as a side