Thursday, October 07, 2010

Brinjal Sambal (Eggplant/Aubergine with Chilli)

Eggplants have never really appealed to me and I often shied away from eating and preparing them. It's not that I ever thought they were unpleasant to eat, but just that they were a little uninspiring, and I guess I was mostly just uninitiated to their potential. But that changed once I tasted my friend's 'Brinjal Sambal'. It is such a simple dish with only a handful of ingredients, yet it somehow brought eggplant to life for me. It has a yummy spicy freshness to it and you can control the amount of chilli to suit your needs. I've also given options for tweaking the recipe so it can be made in a hurry; it will still taste delicious even if you are short of time and/or don't wish to do much preparation.


1 large eggplant
1 onion, diced
1 tsp of garlic, onion and ginger paste (or just crush a couple cloves of garlic and a knob of ginger)
1 tsp sambal paste* (or use a teaspoon of red chilli paste)
3-4 large tomatoes, quartered (you can also substitute with a tin of tomatoes)
salt to taste
sugar to taste


Pre-fry eggplant in oil (or grill them), then set aside to drain on paper towels.
Heat oil and fry the onion, then add the ginger and garlic pastes, fry for a couple minutes more.
Add sambal and cook until oil separates, or until you can really smell the heat of the sambal.
Add tomatoes, salt, and sugar.
Once tomatoes are soft, add the eggplant and heat through and coat with sambal.

Serve with chapati

Serves 3

* To make the sambal:
Soak a handful of dry red chillis in boiling water then blend to make a smooth paste. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds beforehand.
Note: The sambal should be fried before using; fry the sambal paste until the oil separates and then store in a container in the fridge (it will keep for a few weeks).

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