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Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt Sauce – Bouranee Baunjan

Falling in love with eggplant is easy with this scrumptious Afghani dish served with garlicky yogurt.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 medium Eggplants
  • 1 large ripe Tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 large Onion sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric
  • Salt
  • ½ teaspoon black Pepper
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • ¼ cup Water
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup firm plain Yogurt (Greek style)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh Cilantro Parsley or Mint, for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Rinse eggplants, cut the stems off and peal into strips. Cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Spread slice on a flat surface or tray and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, peal the garlic, crush and place on a piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the foil around garlic.
  • Place eggplant slices on a large (or two medium), greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Place the garlic pouch on the sheet, between the eggplant slices. Bake the eggplant and garlic for 20-30 minutes or until eggplant is lightly browned. Don't worry if your thinner slices are dry, they will absorb the sauce later in the process.
  • In a medium saucepan heat one tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Sauté sliced onions until browned and slightly caramelized, then stir in red pepper flakes, if using. Remove onions from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Place tomatoes in the same pan and cook until they break down, about 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, turmeric, coriander, pepper and salt to taste. Cook the sauce over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
  • Layer half of eggplant slices in an 8-inch square baking dish or a loaf pan. Top the eggplant with half of the onions and half of the tomato sauce. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer, to reduce the excess liquid.
  • Combine yogurt, mashed garlic cloves and pinch of salt. Top eggplant with yogurt. Sprinkle with cilantro, parsley or mint. Serve with fresh pita bread or Kurdish rice.