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Fried eggplant with medieval salš


You'll need

For shallow-frying: vegetable oil 700 gm eggplant (about 2 eggplant), peeled and sliced 1cm thick For dusting: plain flour, seasoned   Bastourma spice mix 1½ tsp fenugreek 1½ tsp sweet paprika ¼ tsp cumin seeds ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper (see note) ¼ tsp ground allspice Pinch of garlic powder   Salš 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup (firmly packed) each mint, coriander and flat-leaf parsley 3 garlic cloves, crushed 3 tsp honey ¾ tsp caraway seeds, finely ground 125 ml (½ cup) lime juice

Method

  • 01
  • For bastourma spice mix, process all ingredients with ¼ tsp sea salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper in a spice grinder or pound in a mortar and pestle until finely ground, then set aside.
  • 02
  • For salŝ, process oil, herbs, garlic, honey and caraway in a blender until very fine and smooth (1-2 minutes), then add lime juice, process until bright green and smooth (1 minute) and season to taste.
  • 03
  • Heat oil in a large deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Dust eggplant lightly in seasoned flour, then fry in batches until golden and tender (3-4 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit), drain on absorbent paper and season with bastourma spice mix. Arrange on a platter, drizzle with salŝ and serve warm.
Note Aleppo pepper, named for the Syrian city, is grown in Syria and Turkey, then dried and crushed. It's available from select Middle Eastern grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute dried chilli flakes.

This recipe is from the February 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

"Achieving the dark colour on the eggplant is key to this simple dish, as it gives almost a burnt-caramel effect. It's the way Mum used to fry eggplant. I've paired it with a medieval salš - an Arabian salsa based on a 13th-century recipe from Baghdad." Joseph Abboud, Rumi

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

2011 Yering Station Village Fumé Blanc.

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