is a delicious stew, not unlike the bamia dish.
However, the whole tomatoes and turmeric give it a different
flavor and consistency altogether.
a large pot sauté the
onions and garlic in olive oil. Cook until yellow. Add salt,
pinch black pepper, 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric, and 2 teaspoons
of cinnamon. Stir, and now add the tomatoes. The best canned
tomatoes, by the way, always come from Italy. If you can
get San Marzano tomatoes (available at Whole Foods and
other nice supermarkets), it tastes that much better! If
you happen to have lemongrass and kefir lime leaves on
hand, toss them in. They will really bring out a much more
fragrant lemon flavor to the dish.
Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, using as much oil as
necessary to fry the eggplants, flipping once. If you use
a larger kind of eggplant, you'll have to cut them in slices
first. This is another reason why the Japanese eggplants
work really well in this recipe. Remove the browned eggplants
from the pan and add a little sea salt.
Once your tomato stew has simmered
for 15 minutes or so, add lemon and sugar to taste— as
sweet and sour as you like! Place the cooked eggplant
into your tomato stew and cover and simmer for 15 more
minutes to let the spices soak in.
You can enjoy this stew
as a main dish or as a starter soup. Garnish with cilantro
for a special touch!
There are lots of eggplants (or aubergines for you Brits) out there
and many ways to cook them. I think the Japanese ones, which
are small and flavorful, work best. However, you can use
any kind you have available. Also, it is not absolutely necessary
to fry the eggplant, although you do need to cook it in some
way before adding it to simmer in the stew. For a healthier
option, try roasting them or place them on the BBQ!