1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 cup vegetable oil
1 serrano pepper
2 tablespoons kashk, reconstituted to the thickness of a loose yogurt
*If you cannot find kashk, yogurt may be substituted instead
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- Peel the eggplant like zebra stripes, leaving ½-inch strips of the peel between each strip of peeled eggplant.
- Slice the eggplant into ½-inch rounds. Place the rounds in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for at least one hour, up to overnight.
- While the eggplants rest, grate the tomatoes with a box grater. When you grate the tomato, the skin will struggle to pass through the grater, collecting on the outside. Throw this skin away. Set the tomatoes aside for later.
- Grate the onion with the box grater and set it aside as well.
- Mince the garlic and set aside.
- After the eggplant has rested, pour off the liquid that has collected at the bottom of the bowl.
- In an 8 or 10 inch fry pan, heat up 1 cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it sizzles when you sprinkle it with water. Pan fry the eggplant slices until golden brown, turning part way through so that both sides get browned. After frying, set the eggplant places aside on a plate. Repeat until the entire eggplant has been fried.
- After the eggplant has fried, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook just until the garlic becomes fragrant—do not let the garlic brown.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then add the whole serrano pepper. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Lay the eggplant pieces in the pan, nestling them into the tomato sauce. Let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, reconstitute the kashk and spread on a large serving platter. Place the eggplant pieces over the kashk, then spoon the tomato sauce on top.
- Garnish the dish with dried mint and black pepper.
Many thanks to Zala for sharing this recipe, and to the Edible Theology Project for their work in putting it into writing for our community.