As I mentioned in my previous post, a few weeks ago my friend came over and we cooked an Indian feast for 16 people. While I was happy to have everyone over, I was mostly interested in learning about how to make tons of different dishes from my friend who is an expert Indian cook. Although she would probably disagree with me, there is a knack that you have to have with spices and balancing flavours to be able to cook like she does. While I might have that knack with different cuisines, I can’t tell you how excited I was at the prospect of some of her skill rubbing off on me over the course of the day. Although we didn’t measure anything, throwing spices, tasting and adjusting as we went (totally my style of cooking when it’s not for this space!), I took some notes as we cooked so that I would remember the base flavours of every dish. There are some pictures of most of the dishes we cooked, below, but I am sharing the recipe for only one of them today. It’s taken me until now to finally recreate (and accurately re-measure!) one of my favourites of the night: the ubiquitous eggplant dish, Baingan Bharta.
I bought some eggplant a couple of weeks ago to tackle the ever elusive task of making Chinese braised eggplant. Clearly I wasn’t up to the challenge because I decided to take the easy way out and make some eggplant parmesan with it instead. I don’t make eggplant parmesan very often, but man, it was so good. I was trying to decide whether I should re-make and post it up here, and the decision was made after I went home to Montreal. On top of this version being absolutely delicious, over the years, I have definitely cut out a number of time-consuming steps that, in my opinion, don’t effect the final product. When I was home, I watched my mom peel the eggplant, almost salt it (until I discouraged her from wasting an hour of her time), and I also realized a lot of people go through the time consuming step of frying (and sometimes even breading) the eggplant.