You know what they say; all that glitters is not gold. Take for e.g., Rakhi Sawant. You think the woman looks good, and her jhatkas and matkas are quite entertaining. But the moment you hear her voice, you want to shoot yourself in the ears and fall dead.
The eggplant belongs to the same category. A very pretty vegetable to look at, great shape and colour. But it can be extremely slimy and unappealing in a curry. There is only one way to treat such people and vegetables – and that is the rough way. Deep frying eggplants takes the slime away and improves them a lot. Don't take my word for it, try it out.
(Adapted from Goan Spiced Aubergines recipe on Indian Food Made Easy)
You will need:
I medium eggplant, cut into half cm round slices (The eggplant I used yielded 15 such slices)
For the batter: 6 tablespoons chickpea flour + 1 tablespoon wheat flour + 1/2 tablespoon red chili powder + 1/2 teaspoon garam masala + 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds + salt, to taste + a pinch of sugar + 1 tablepoon lemon/lime juice
1/2 cup cold water
1 sprig curry leaves
Lemon wedges, to serve
Oil, to deep fry (I used sunflower oil)
Sprinkle some salt over the eggplant slices and place a heavy pan over it to press out excess moisture. After half an hour, rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry.
Mix together all the ingredients for the batter. Add water little by little, mixing well till the batter has the consistency of single cream.
Heat oil in a small wok to deep fry the eggplants over medium flame. You know the oil is ready when a drop of batter dropped into it rises to the surface immediately. Dip eggplant slices into the batter and place carefully into the oil. Fry the eggplants in batches without overcrowding the wok. Each side would need around 2 minutes, or till it is crispy and golden brown. Remove the slices with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on paper towels.
Serve the eggplants with curry leaves and lemon wedges immediately.
This was a great snack and it completely changed my opinion about the eggplant. I only wish deep frying could have improved certain people as well, without killing them, that is.