I’m sharing an old family recipe for eggplant, the one my parents would often cook for us when eggplants were in season. It is one of my favourites out of many favourite eggplant recipes, note: I’m a massive eggplant fan.
Every time I cook with eggplant it reminds me of the days when I was still a kid and how my dad would go to a local Bazar on early Saturday morning and get the freshest groceries. I remember the smell of ripe tomatoes and the glossy look of dark purple eggplants and the capsicums, and how fragrant their smell was.
And without a doubt on my visits back home to Baku-Azerbaijan, my first outing usually ends up being a trip to a local bazaar market!
At the time these photographs were taken I wasn’t blogging yet, but still loved to document all of my foodie adventures on my phone camera. And I’m so glad I did! Because now I can share them with you all, and most importantly all these pictures bring back fabulous memories from my trip to my beloved city, Baku.
While cooking eggplant is fairly easy, there is a little trick to know; sometimes eggplants have a natural bitterness to them. To get this bitterness out it’s recommended to salt the eggplant and leave it to sweat, then rinse well and squeeze the excess fluid out. That will remove the bitter taste and when cooking it will soak up less oil as it will lose some of its sponginess.
I love serving this dish drizzled with plain yoghurt, garlic and fresh mint dressing accompanied by fresh tendir style bread.
You can find a recipe for tendir style bread in my bread section, it’s an easy bread to make.
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 large eggplants diced into cubes
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized onion peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 large capsicum sliced ( capsicum of any colour or a little bit of red, green and yellow )
1 red chilli sliced ( optional )
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved; cherry tomatoes can be substituted for 2-3 medium tomatoes deseeded and sliced
Salt to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
1 clove garlic crushed
1 cup plain or Greek style yoghurt
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
Salt to taste
Place cubed eggplant into a colander, salt with 1 tbsp of salt and toss well. Leave to sweat for 30-45 minutes. Rinse well, drain and squeeze excess fluid out using your hands.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 1- 2 minutes or till fragrant. Add eggplant, stir and cook on a medium to high heat for 10 min, stirring occasionally for eggplant to cook evenly. Do not overcrowd the pan, if there is too much eggplant cook it in two batches and add it in together with capsicum. Add capsicum and chilli and cook for further 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve dressed with yoghurt dressing.
Enjoy as a side dish, with fresh bread or just by itself.