For long time readers of this blog, it might be shocking to see me post a vegetable recipe. I’m sure I have a few in the archives, but most are probably side dishes. It’s not that I hate vegetables (hate is a strong word), I would like to call it more like an aversion. I think it was the nutritious bitter melon that my grandmother loved to cook that had ruined vegetables for me forever. My eldest brother would make me sit through dinner until I finished my helping of bitter melon before I could ever be allowed to touch any steak, pork chop or fried chicken. Experiences like these do scar you for life, you know.
Anyway, this doesn’t apply to eggplants. I simply love them! So why do I not make them more often? The “hungry” hubby, who had once declared that he could be a happy vegetarian, hates them with a passion. It’s the texture, he says. And I wouldn’t care to state or repeat exactly what he thinks of the texture on this blog.
If you love eggplants and garlic. This dish is for you. It’s Persian in origin and my mother-in-law taught me how to make it. It’s the perfect appetizer to have with toasty pita bread or if you are like me – over plain steamed rice as a main dish.
It is best to grill the eggplants so you can have the charred flavor. But because it was too hot outside, I split the eggplant in two and cooked it in a 400F oven. It must be cooked through so you can mash it properly. I was impatient this time and if you look at the picture of the dish above, the eggplants could have spent more time cooking.
It was delicious anyway.
Mirza Ghassemi (Aubergine with Eggs)
1 1/4 lb eggplant (I used 1 big one)
1 medium tomato, about 9 ounces, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
a little less than 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a little salt
salt and pepper
Grill or bake the eggplant. Cool slightly and remove skin. Chop and mash until it looks like a puree.
Saute garlic with the turmeric until golden.
Set aside the garlic-turmeric mixture. In the same pan add a little oil and partially cook the eggs.
In another pan (or you can use the same one if you want), add a little oil and add the mashed eggplants and fry until the liquid is reduced.
Add the tomatoes and continue frying until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste.
At this point, your eggplant-tomato mixture may appear pasty, so add a little oil, between 1- 3 teaspoons, to restore some vibrance in the mixture.
Stir in the garlic and cooked eggs. Use your spatula to break up the eggs and distribute into the eggplant-tomato mixture.
You may set aside some of the garlic and eggs for garnish. This may be served warm or room temperature.