Fried Eggplant With Chickpeas and Mint Chutney
adapted from the New York Times
FOR THE EGGPLANT:
- 2 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
- 1 white onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 15-ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- sea salt, as needed
FOR THE MINT CHUTNEY:
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 green onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Plain yogurt (optional)
- Season the sliced eggplant with salt. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is heated add enough eggplant slices to fit in one layer without overlapping. Cook until the bottoms are browned, then flip and continue to cook until well browned and soft, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add more oil if things begin to dry out. Transfer cooked eggplant to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and repeat with more oil and eggplant until all the eggplant is cooked. Taste eggplant and add more salt if necessary.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until golden soft.
- Add garlic to the onions and cook until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes longer.
- Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute longer, then add tomatoes, chickpeas and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Partly cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Continue cooking until tomatoes start to break down, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add eggplant to the pan and cook until sauce thickens, or about another 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the eggplant cooks, combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a blender with 2 tablespoons water. Blend until puréed, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust for more lemon juice or salt as needed.
- Serve the eggplant topped with the chutney and, if using, the yogurt.