Eggplants are an often overlooked vegetable, but I just love to eat them in any form. Thought of converting this humble and under appreciated vegetable into something exotic and delicious.
I created this dish with a combination of flavours from India and Middle East, using ingredients such as chaat masala, coriander, ginger and green chilies, alongside dates and pine nuts.
It’s such a simple dish to make but it tastes really delectable and regal, hence I named them Dawat-e-Baingan - dawat means royal feast, and baingan means eggplant!
I hope you enjoy this simply delicious recipe.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
BAKE TIME: 20 minutes
ASSEMBLE TIME: 8 hours or overnight
10-12 baby eggplants
250g dates, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1 1/2 tsp chat masala
3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
3-4 tbsp rapeseed oil/vegetable or sunflower oil
Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
Salt for seasoning
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
Wash, pat dry and cut the eggplants in half lengthwise along with stalks.
Grease a large baking dish with the rapeseed oil, place the eggplants facing cut side up. Season them well with salt and pepper. Generously drizzle some more oil on top to coat well.
Bake in preheated oven at 225°C for 20 minutes or until they are tender and cooked. Remove from oven and let it cool.
In a bowl, combine dates, green chillies, ginger, lemon juice, pomegranate, pine nuts, salt, chat masala and coriander. Mix them well to make the stuffing. Check the seasoning, add more if you need any extra.
Take the eggplant half, press the center with the back of a small spoon to make a cavity, put a small amount of stuffing on top. Repeat with rest of the eggplant halves.
Place them on serving tray and garnish with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and chopped coriander leaves.
If you are serving these in a dinner party, eggplants can be baked ahead of time and kept aside to be assembled later.
The stuffing can be prepared without adding coriander, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Add these at last minutes to savour the crunch and freshness of the herb.