Sunday, October 5, 2008

an eggplant fairy tale

once upon a time, there lived a naive foodie hunter who didn't realize how good they had it living in berkeleyland... where they could eat foods from around the world....practically on their doorstep. this particular foodie hunter grew extraordinarily fond of indian food...the chaat at vic's (OMG)....the stews (wonderful), the breads (almost too good to be true), and more. the foodie hunter could honestly say that aside from lime pickle, the foodie hunter hasn't met a dish that they wouldn't devour quite quickly, and lift the plate for seconds, please. yum. yum.

then, alas, one day, this foodie hunter found themselves living in a foggy box on a cliff by the cold dreary sea....nary a basmati grain of rice in sight. sigh. stupid foodie hunter. lets not mince words shall we? foodie hunter has since learned that painful lesson....don't live in place where you can't get good indian food! yet, during that hazy and isolated time, the foodie hunter turned to madhur jaffrey's "indian cooking"...and that allowed the foodie hunter's sobs to dilute to mere sniffles at the loss of having indian restaurants nearby. with tome in hand, the foodie hunter would make treks into the 7x7 city, squirreling away spices, rice, and dal in their sack, before heading back to the isolated cliff where the foodie hunter was living with the not-yet-betrayer (that is a different story...doublely stupid foodie hunter. sigh.).

the foodie hunter discovered that on page 134 of the tome was a recipe for fried eggplant (tala hua baigan). the foodie hunter wasn't fond of eggplant until they had this dish.

the foodie hunter made this dish so often that that the pages became crinkly and worn. the foodie hunter obviously discovered that they adored this dish. "so simple, so good." chanted the foodie hunter. "ms. jaffrey's version calls for fresh eggplant wedges, turmeric, salt, cayenne, and black pepper."

since those dark days on the cliff, the foodie hunter has made this dish many times and has modified it a bit. sometimes the foodie hunter leaves the slices as moons.....

the foodie hunter adds a lot more cayenne and salt (two parts salt, two parts cayenne, and one part turmeric) than in ms. jaffrey's recipe... and sometimes makes it without black the foodie hunter did today....

the foodie hunter also makes certain that they use a very good quality extra virgin olive oil for this dish, it makes a big difference.

the foodie hunter has discovered that they like this quite a bit with rice and surprisingly (or not), on toast. but today, the foodie hunter had the spicy salty yummerfic eggplant with rice.

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