Indian aubergine are so cute and also rare in our supermarkets. I got lucky with these.
They remind me a bit of the popular, indigenous djakattou vegetable found in West Africa, a cross between tomato and eggplant. The djakattou is about the size and color of a medium tomato with an interior that resembles the interior of an eggplant. It is widely used in stews and soups and is so bitter that I have never been able to adjust to the taste. “Chacun a son gout.”
At first I thought I would make curry; you know Indian eggplant therefore curry. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. As I tell my husband, it’s not set in stone that you must boil the corned beef, though it is traditional, there are a million ways to prepare food and I try to take advantage of cultural variations. It’s true though that when I get lucky with eggplant, I lean towards East Asian cuisine 🙂
In honor of my husband’s 70th birthday week, I decided to prepare rice instead of noodles. Happy Birthday!
Browned, unbattered eggplant is my very favorite way to prepare it. When growing up and well into my 20s, I thought the only way to cook eggplant was in moussaka or battered and greasily fried. Not so! South and East Asians prepare eggplant in various delicious ways.
I’ve been dissatisfied with the aji-mirin that I have been forced to use for at least a year. I prefer hon-mirin, especially for Japanese dishes but haven’t been able to find it. I substituted the mirin with ryorishu cooking sake and think it’s better than the aji.
I often use pan roasted eggplant as a side dish to meats. It is delicious.
Asian Style Indian Eggplant
1.4 cup tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp ryorishu cooking sake
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1 1/2 lb ground veal
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
3 tbsp peanut oil
12 Indian eggplant, stemmed and halved
Mix the soy sauce, chilli sauce, vinegar, sake and ryorishu sake together and set aside.
Brown the veal in 1 1/2 tbsp of peanut oil, remove from pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add 1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil and saute the garlic, ginger, bell pepper and scallions until the pepper is crisp tender. Remove the vegetables to the plate of veal and set aside.
In a large skillet heat 3 tbsp peanut oil and brown the eggplant halves. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Wipe out the large skillet and add the veal, vegetables and eggplant. Stir in the sauce mixture, bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve with rice.