Patlıcan Kızartma (Turkish Fried Eggplant)
I’m not sure any self-respecting Turk would really accept this as patlıcan kızartma but, oh my, does it taste good.
Ingredients for about 4 people
- 1 eggplant
- 1 can tomatoes, peeled & diced
- 4 tablespoons currants, dried
- 4 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup greek yogurt
- ⅓ bunch mint, fresh
- 2 glugs pomegranate molasses
- chili, ground
- coriander, ground
- cumin, ground
- ginger, ground
- cinnamon, ground
- turmeric, ground
- Slice the eggplant into at least 12 thin slices or approximately equal width. Lay out a double sheet of paper towel, sprinkle it with salt. Lay the eggplant slices on top of the paper towel, sprinkle the slices with salt and lay a second double sheet of paper towel on top of the slices. Let sit for 25 mins.
- Mix chili, coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and set aside. Note: You can also just <a href="http://www.julietmae.com/products/Moroccan-Chicken-Tagine-Blend.html">buy this mix pre-made</a> if you are so inclined.
- Dice 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (depending on taste). In a small bowl, mix the garlic with the greek yogurt. Chiffonade 6-10 leaves of mint and mix that in. Add a touch of salt and pepper and mix that in. Set aside.
- Sauté slices of the remaining garlic in a few glugs of olive oil on medium high heat. When just starting to show a hint of brown, add the entire can of tomatoes with juice. Add currants. Add a few glugs of pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper. If tomatoes are particularly acidic, add a touch of brown sugar. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until the eggplant is ready.
- Heat a combination of canola oil (higher smoke point) and olive oil (better flavor) in a deep-walled skillet until hot enough to spatter when you add a drop of water. Carefully slide in enough eggplant slices to just fill the pot (4?). Do not overcrowd or they will steam each other. This will require cooking the eggplant in batches. Turn the eggplant slices over when the undersides are a rich caramelized brown. Depending on the heat of the oil, it should take about three or four minutes a side. When cooked, remove eggplant slices from oil and place on a clean paper towel sheet to blot up the excess oil. Season lightly with salt.
- To assemble, place one layer of eggplant in the center of the plate. Add a layer of the tomato sauce on top. Place a second slice of eggplant. Add a layer of the yogurt sauce. Add a third slice of the eggplant on top of which goes more tomato sauce (assuming you haven’t run out of slices yet) and then a final slice of eggplant with a dollop of yogurt sauce in top. Put a sprig of mint in the yogurt on top and swirl some pomegranate molasses around the plate with your thumb over the bottle’s opening.