This is a richly flavored, spicy dip that is very easy to prepare. It is one of my favorite appetizers, and a good choice to acquaint newcomers to the flavors of curry. I highly recommend serving it with hot pita bread triangles so you can scoop it up, but it also works well as a spread on crackers.
MAKES 1Вј CUPS
1 medium eggplant (1Вј pounds)
3 tablespoons butter or Ghee
2 teaspoons ground coriander
ВЅ teaspoon turmeric
Вј teaspoon cumin seeds
в…› teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
ВЅ cup finely chopped tomato
ВЅ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons yogurt
2 tomato wedges for garnish
Fresh coriander or parsley sprigs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400В°F. Cut the stem end off the eggplant and discard. Prick the eggplant with a fork in a few places to prevent it from exploding when cooking, and place it on a pie plate or baking dish. Bake for 1 to 1ВЅ hours, or until the eggplant collapses and is very soft. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, or until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter or ghee in a medium skillet. Add the coriander, turmeric, cumin seeds, cayenne, and garlic, and toast these spices for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
- Scoop out the pulp of the eggplant into a medium bowl and mash very well. Add the spiced tomato mixture, salt, and yogurt, and mix well. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Spoon into a serving dish and garnish with the tomato wedges and the coriander or parsley sprigs. Serve with hot pita bread triangles.