Bademjan/Badenjan is Persian name for Eggplant/Aubergine. Boorani as far as I know was yoghurt. So the moment I saw this recipe in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, I was thinking of an eggplant raitha or eggplant in curd.But on reading the recipe I dfound that these are simple yet sensational starters. Rounds of aubergines fried -can be grilled as well - topped with minty tomato sauce and dollops of yogurt make an excellent starter or a side as well.
Aubergine : 1 large sliced into rounds
Salt: a needed
Vegetable Oil: for deep frying
Minty Tomato Sauce:
Vegetable Oil: 2-3 tsp
Onion: about 4 tbsp finely chopped
Garlic: 1-2 cloves peeled and finely chopped/minced
Tomatoes: 2 big,blanched,peeled and chopped coarsely
Salt: as needed
Fresh Mint: 2-3 tbsp finely chopped + more for garnish
Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp +
Coriander Powder: 1/ 4 tsp +
Cayenne Pepper: 1/4 tsp or as per taste
Black Pepper :as per taste
Yogurt : 1/2 cup +/- as needed
Slice the aubergine into medium thick rounds and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish or similar plate. Sprinkle salt on both sides and let it sit there for about 1 hour or atleast 30 minutes till it gives out the bitterness/juices.
Meanwhile make the tomato sauce.
Heat oil in a deep pan and add onion. Stirfry for 2-3 minutes till they start to brown and add in the garlic. Stirfry till it gives out a nice aroma and then add the tomatoes along with the juice,little and the spice powders given in the sauce. Stir well, and cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes or more until it thickens to a sauce consistency and all the items are cooked and the flavours mingle well. Keep aside.
Also for the yogurt sauce, lightly whip the yogurt with a fork and keep aside.
Once the aubergines are ready or at the time of serving, heat oil on med-high for deep frying. Take the slices,pat them dry with a kitchen paper, and deep fry them till they are lightly brown on both the sides. This takes about 5-6 minutes per side and you can add as much slices at a single time as well. Drain them on kitchen paper.
For serving, arrange the aubergine slices on the serving plates,top with 1-2 tbsp of tomato sauce. Top this with a dollop of yogurt and garnish with mint.
Serve immediately or warm.
It is preferable to serve warm else it turns chewy and tough.May be it also depends on the ripeness of the aubergine as well. Make sure fresh ripe aubergines are used.The coolness of yogurt,refreshing mint,the tangy sweet tomato, the slight heat of spices and slightly crisp aubergine makes this a sensational starter.