Banjan Borani – Eggplant with Tomato and Yoghurt

The tangy, garlic-laced yoghurt contrasts nicely with the sweet tomato sauce and tender eggplant. It’s garnished with dried mint (don’t use fresh), which you can find in the spice section of a supermarket or in a Middle Eastern market.

Banjan Borani - Eggplant with Tomato and Yoghurt
Serves: 10
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced thin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 900 g canned crushed tomatoes
  • 170 g tomato paste
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 green capsicum, cored, seeded and cut into four pieces
  • 450 g plain yoghurt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggplant (about 1.15 kg total), unpeeled, sliced into 1½ cm rounds
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crushed dried mint
  1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large saucepan until hot. Add the onions and sauté them, stirring occasionally, until light brown, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle in the turmeric and stir to coat the onions. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1½ teaspoons of the salt, and green pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring often to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, until all the water evaporates and the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Keep the sauce warm while you proceed.
  2. Whisk together the yoghurt and garlic in a bowl, add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and set aside.
  3. Cook the eggplant by either frying it on the stove or broiling it in the oven. To fry the eggplant, heat ½ cup of oil in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, slide in as many eggplant slices as can fit in the pan in a single layer. Cook the eggplant until the bottom is soft and brown, and then flip the pieces over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the eggplant from the oil with a flat, slotted spatula and put the slices in the tomato sauce. Add more oil to the frying pan as needed and cook the rest of the eggplant in batches the same way.
  4. If you choose to broil the eggplant instead, brush the rounds with oil and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil until browned and soft on top, flip them over, brush with more oil, and brown the other side, about 4 minutes on each side. Put the cooked eggplant in the tomato sauce. When all the eggplant is in the tomato sauce, hold the handles of the saucepan and shake the pot from side to side until most of the slices are covered with sauce. If you like, remove the green pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
  5. To assemble the eggplant, spread one-quarter of the yoghurt mixture on the bottom of a deep, flat serving dish or platter. Using a flat spatula, dish out the eggplant and sauce mixture and spread it over the yoghurt. Drizzle the rest of the yoghurt mixture on top. Sprinkle the dried mint over the yoghurt and serve.

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John Doe
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Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, John is a superior specialist in growing palms and exotic plants.
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