Three Layer Curried Eggplant

Three Layer Curried Eggplant: a good choice when your dinner guests are picky eaters*. Who like Indian food. I am allergic to eggplant, which doesn’t actually stop me from eating it because it is very tasty. Also, the enzymes in yoghurt tend to mitigate the effect of the eggplant, as long as I don’t let it touch my lips directly. Recipe as given serves two, especially with pakora on the side. Easily expandable.

    Ingredients you will need:

      Layer One:

        Jasmine Rice 1 cup
        Anise Seeds, whole 1 tsp

      Layer Two:

        Eggplant (one standard purple–do not use Asian varietals)
        Cooking Oil ~2 Tbsp
        Fresh Coriander, finely chopped 3 Tbsp
        Fresh Garlic, finely chopped 3 Tbsp
        Ground Cumin 1/2 tsp
        Ground Coriander 1/2 tsp
        Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
        Salt 1/2 tsp
        Fresh-ground Pepper 1/4 tsp
        Chili Powder 1/4 tsp
        Ground Turmeric 1/4 tsp

      Layer Three:

        Yoghurt 1/4 cup
        Jalenpeno or Serrano pepper, very finely chopped 1 tsp

    What you need to do:

      Layer One:
      Wash, drain, and soak rice for at least one hour. Then drain again, put into cooking pot, and add two cups water and anise seeds. Bring mixture to boil, and back down to a low simmer. Try not to open the lid of the pot at any time. After approximately 15 minutes, the rice should be cooked–fluff with a fork, turn off the burner, and set aside. If it’s not cooked, then cook it some more, fluff with…

      Layer Two:
      Pierce eggplant several times with a fork and roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes (TIP: start cooking your rice after the eggplant has been in the oven around 30 minutes). While this is going on, chop the garlic and coriander. Heat a burner to medium and put a heavy (such as cast iron) open pan on it. Add just enough cooking oil to lightly coat. Add spices (spices should be less than one year old, ideally, for flavour). When oil is hot, add garlic. Stir briskly. After about 30 seconds, add the coriander. Turn off the burner. Set aside. (It is important to let this mixture sit so that the garlic and oil absorb the flavours of the spices.) When the eggplant is falling in on itself, remove from the oven and (carefully, it’s hot!) dejacket it. Turn the burner with the spice/garlic mixture back on and add the cooked eggplant–cook for a minute or so until ingredients are throughly mixed. Set aside.

      Layer Three:
      Mix the yoghurt and the finely chopped peppers moments before plating.

    How to serve it:

      Mound the rice uniformly on dishes. (A spatula really helps here for smoothness.) You are thinking rice mountains, rice half domes here. Evenly distribute and spread eggplant mixture with a spoon over rice mound. Spoon yoghurt mixture over this–it will naturally spread itself over the first two layers, creating a delightful white dome.

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*As given, this recipe is gluten free and is easily made vegan with the substitution of soy yoghurt.