I discovered this beautiful farmers’ market on a casual stroll on a sunny morning in Berkeley (where I am visiting my husband). It was gorgeous! At least, that’s what any person who has only known a tiny stretch of road with makeshift carts flaunting humble supplies of essential vegetables would tell you. Fascinated by the smell and colors of the produce, we picked up beautiful flowers, fresh peaches, oranges, raspberries, blueberries, and apples, the residual fragrances of which still fill our house even a week later.
You will notice that there’s hardly any eggplants here. That’s probably because I bought them all. Well, almost. They were so cheap and so beautiful, and the weather here is so pretty and so summery that we relished in all kinds of eggplant dishes for a whole week. I love to cook with eggplants, and it is a family favorite too. The supple texture and earthy-sweet flavor of eggplant makes it a perfect base for a variety of sauces. This recipe of caramelized eggplants, blended with sweet, sour and savory flavors, brightened with a little cilantro and raisins, is a perfect summer dish.
Eggplant cooked in yogurt sauce
Level:Easy Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4-6
1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 cup yogurt
1 cup water
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 green chili, chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1/4 cup raisins
cilantro and/or mint leaves for garnish
Add 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/2 tsp salt to the eggplants, mix well and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over high heat. When hot, add the eggplants and stir to evenly coat each piece with oil, reduce heat to medium and cook covered, stirring occasionally until tender, about 12-15 minutes.
As the eggplants cook, mix 1 cup of yogurt with 1 cup of water and beat well. Add the remaining sugar, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt to the yogurt mix and stir well.
When the eggplants are done, take them out draining any excess oil.
To the remaining oil in the pan, add ginger paste and chopped chilies. Stir for 30 seconds and turn down the heat to low. Let the pan cool a little and slowly stir in the yogurt mix. The heat must be at the lowest, otherwise the yogurt will break. Slowly turn the heat up to medium while stirring continuously for 5 minutes.
Add the raisins and fried eggplants to the yogurt sauce, stir well, and cook covered for 8-10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add more sugar if the sauce is too tangy.
Turn off heat, add chopped cilantro/mint leaves.
Serve with rice.