February 1, 2010

A Great Sedative...

coldFirst you need to read my welcome note.

You will not believe it, but Aubergines have sedative properties and not only that -- they are damn too tasty too.
I know this is not the season for aubergines, or betinjan as we call them in Arabic, but aubergines are readily available throughout the year with all these green houses around.

I was debating as to which aubergine recipe I should share with you, I want to start with simple ones first, and maybe work my way to more complicated ones.

So today's recipe is Aubergines in Yogurt as a starter/hors d'oeuvre.

My God, just thinking about this dish makes me mellow as if I have received a good dose of tranquilizers or maybe a joint - alas I don't smoke weed or hashish...I opt for aubergines instead.

You will need for the full effect : for two persons :

- 1 big aubergine or two smaller ones.
- vegetable oil - sunflower or corn is best for this dish
- 1 big clove of garlic
- dried mint
- fresh mint to decorate
- salt and pepper
- 1 to 1/2 standard cans of yogurt and do spare me the low fat stuff.

1) Wash aubergines (obviously) and peel them in thick stripes. retain that lovely violet black skin. How to explain that now...hmm - make it look like a zebra with thick stripes.

Slice aubergines in rounds -- not too thick and not too thin . Too thick will drink up the oil and too thin will make them lose their taste and dry them out. Salt them and it is important to wrap them in a cloth. The cloth will absorb the humidity, because aubergines drink up whatever you give them. So wrapping them in a cloth will absorb that. Meanwhile...

2) Heat the oil in a big frying pan- aubergines when fried need space. And be generous with the oil and heat it well as aubergines are big drinkers. If you are not into frying, you can bake them in the oven and brush some oil on top, but the taste will not be the same...

3) keep the heat steady, you want those aubergines to become golden and not burn...

4) once that is done, place the aubergines on several layers of kitchen paper towels, to absorb excess oil

5) prepare your yogurt sauce. mix yogurt with crushed garlic and about 1 tsp of dried mint leaves and a bit of pepper.

6) place your aubergines in a deep dish and cover it with your yogurt sauce, decorate with fresh mint leaves.

Serve with hot Arabic bread.

Enjoy and  feel that chill out effect....