Eggplant and tomatoes

This is the best time of year to eat eggplants and tomatoes. Eggplants somehow like being punished by the long hot Adelaide summer. A few hills dwellers have told me they don’t have much luck with eggplants but they do grow really well on the Adelaide Plains. Tomatoes are also in abundance. I came across this dish at a local restaurant specialising in food from Afghanistan. This dish brings all the great flavours of summer together. It also uses South Australian produce in season and at it’s best – eggplants, tomatoes, olive oil, chili, garlic, coriander.

Borani Banjan

2 large eggplants sliced length ways into 1cm slices

1/4 cup extra virgin oil

1 cup sliced tomatoes

4 cloves crushed garlic

2 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 fresh chili minced

salt & pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup coriander finely chopped

greek style yogurt (optional)

dried powdered mint (optional)

Prepare the eggplant first by placing slices of eggplant on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven at 180C until the eggplant is starting to soften.

While the eggplant is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in small pan on medium heat. Add garlic and soften for a minute.

Add spices and cook for another minute. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.

Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Then layer the ingredients like a lasagna in a baking dish. Add sauce first, then half the eggplant, then half the coriander, then all the tomatoes. Top with the egplant and rest of coriander. Finish by drizzling rest of sauce so it coats the eggplant.

Bake for 45 mins. Traditionally it is served with a drizzle of yogurt and dried mint. Serve with brown lentils and rice.

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