Paired with plain white boiled rice, this fiery looking Eggplants in tomato sauce is my favorite Kashmiri egg plant dish. Tangy, spicy and not at all heavy, despite the rigorous frying of the eggplants. How? The trick is to fry the eggplants at just the right temperature. Too hot and they will burn on the outside, too low and they will absorb all the oil.
So what’s the right temperature? About 350*F . You may want to use a thermometer or simply do what I do. Add a tiny piece of the eggplant into the oil. If it sinks, the oil is not ready. If it fries and comes up fast, the oil is way too hot. What you are looking for is a piece of eggplant, frying up and reaching the top slow and steady. Confused? Well use the thermometer
I know the word frying daunts some of us who “need to” Have to” and “Must” watch what we eat. For those of us who need to do that, you can simply grill the eggplants and follow the same recipe.
- 1 lb small egg plants (or similar sized egg plants)
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder ( less if you prefer a mild dish)
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp fennel powder
- salt to taste
- 1 C oil for frying
- 1 tbs Mustard oil
- A few thai green chillies
- Slice the eggplants in quarters leaving the stems on
- heat oil in a wok/ kadai and fry the eggplants in small batches (about 3- 4 per batch). Do not crowd the wok with too many eggplants at a time. This appears time consuming, but being patient produces amazing results.
- Fry the eggplants until they get a golden hue
- Remove from oil with a slotted spoon. Repeat for the rest of the eggplants.
- Heat the mustard oil in a non stick pan, until it smokes. Reduce heat and add the tomatoes and the asafoetida.
- Stir, cover and cook the tomatoes until oil separates. About 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the salt, chilli powder and the fennel powder. Stir. Cook covered for another two minutes.
- Add in a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the fried eggplants, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with plain boiled rice or and a side of Dal.