My Spicy Quima and Grilled Aubergine Cooler
Aubergine and yogurt dishes have managed to prowl their way into many cuisines of the world. This vegetable tends to be on the list of people’s least liked vegetable. What a mistake may I say, because when this vegetable is cooked properly it should taste nothing but sweet and scrummy.
When dealing with aubergine, the technique of bleeding it should always be followed as it serves two things, a) getting rid of any bitter flavour, and b) reducing the amount of oil absorbed during the frying process.
I have tasted during my travels various combinations of these two ingredients. I had it prepared Indian style, Afghani style, Turkish style, Greek style, Mediterranean style and, of course, Levantine style. Whatever style, the sweetness and the delicacy of aubergine against the velvet creaminess of the yogurt never fails to create a marriage of pure delicacy.
I have developed this recipe, incorporating flavours I love without imposing on the star ingredients, whilst keeping the calories to the minimum by opting to grill the aubergine as opposed to fry it.
Aubergine is such a healthy vegetable. It is super low in calories, a good source of vitamin B1 and B6, rich in anti-oxidants, essential minerals and fiber. Remember that it is your choice to grill or fry the aubergine.
Give the aubergine a fair chance and try to prepare this recipe in addition to my Kufta rolled aubergine fatteh recipe.
Servings: 1 as sharing platter
300 grams ground lamb
500 grams eggplant
1 onion, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 " ginger root, sliced small match sticks
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
3 cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Kashmir chili powder
Salt, to taste
2 x recipe yogurt sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pine nuts, toasted
1. Peel the aubergine and slice 1/4" length wise thick then lay in a colander and sprinkle with salt as seen in the picture. Repeat until all the aubergine slices are layered. Let it bleed for 30 minutes.
2. In a skillet, sauté the onions and ginger in the oil until they start turning golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
3. Add the minced lamb, spices and season with salt. Sauté until the lamb is cooked. Adjust the spices and salt, as needed.
4. Pat dry the aubergine with paper towel and lay on a cooling wire net on top of a tray. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil on both sides.
5. Place in a 180 C preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
6. Roll the aubergine slices and put aside.
7. Prepare the yogurt sauce and lay a layer on the serving platter. Arrange the rolled aubergine on top of it then top the aubergine with more yogurt. Let stand in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
8. Just before serving reheat the lamb mince and layer on top of the yoghurt blanket and finish with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
* Try to avoid aubergine that contains hard seeds.
* If you prefer fried aubergine simply follow the same steps but cut the aubergine in cubes and fry in vegetable oil.
* Mince chicken or beef can be used as well.
* Prepare the dish ahead of time as it the contrast of cold yogurt and aubergine with the hot topped meat is really nice.
Per Serving : 2251 Calories; 148g Fat (57.9% calories from fat); 98g Protein; 144g Carbohydrate; 24g Dietary Fiber; 343mg Cholesterol; 694mg Sodium.