Recipe: Eggplant with toasted spices

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Recipe: Eggplant with toasted spices

Dietitian's tip: Here, toasted mustard seed and other spices often used in India infuse olive oil with pungent flavor. The oil is then used to make a fresh cherry tomato sauce for smoky slices of grilled eggplant.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light molasses
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

Directions

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Trim the eggplant and cut lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the slices on the rack or broiler pan and grill or broil, turning once, until the eggplant is tender and browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the first 7 spices. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Quickly add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, molasses, garlic and vinegar. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Transfer the eggplant to a warmed serving dish or individual plates, pour the sauce over, and garnish with the cilantro.

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