Monday, March 26, 2012

Batinjaan Zalud

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This is an appetizer dish that goes well with couscous. As a relish, it goes well when served with stews and grilled meats. The dish is reminiscent of an eggplant dish that my Dad used to make with the main difference being how the eggplant is cooked. My Dad grilled the eggplants with the skin on, until it chars while the eggplant meat cooks and softens on the inside. The cooked eggplant meat is recovered by peeling off the blackened and charred remains of the skin. For this dish however, the skin is peeled off and the eggplant is sliced into 1/2-inch thick steaks and fried until it turns brown and soft. 

I have made this dish quite a number of times and have learned a few tricks on how to use only a reasonable amount of oil since eggplants tend to soak every last bit of oil in a hot pan. I'll explain this method below but once you've mastered it, then this dish is something you will love to make over and over again. If prepared as a relish, it is best when made the night before you have to serve it. It allows the flavors to mellow down and meld.

Batinjaan Zalud - Adapted*

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2 eggplants
1/2 onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1 tomato
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 black olive
1/2 cup canola oil
olive oil

1. Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Peel the eggplants 
    and cut into 1/2-inch rounds. When the oil is hot, add the eggplants in 
    one layer. You will have to do this in batches.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2. When the oil has been 
    soaked, flip the 
    eggplants and lower 
    the heat to medium 
    low. Press on the 
    eggplants until the oils 
    starts to ooze out. At 
    this point, the oil will 
    be released from the 
    eggplant. Fry until 
    golden brown on both 
    sides. Set aside in a 
    glass bowl and cook 
    the remaining 
    eggplants. Make sure to readjust the heat back to medium heat for each 

3. While the second batch of eggplants are frying , mash the fried eggplants 
    in the glass bowl. When the oil separates from the mashed eggplant, pour 
    the oil back into the pan where the remaining eggplants are cooking. 

4. When all the eggplants have been fried and mashed, season with the 
    lemon juice, pepper, sugar and salt. Mix well and cover with clingfilm. Set 
    aside in the fridge overnight. 

5. When ready to serve, arrange a mound of the eggplant making a shallow 
    well in the middle. Drizzle with enough olive oil to fill the well and arrange 
    slices of the ripe tomato in a concentric pattern. Dot the center with the 
    olive and sprinkle the parsley all over. Serve cold.

*University of Pennsylvania African Studies Cookbook. 

No comments:

Post a Comment