A work lunch in the city recently saw me dining on a fish curry at an Indian restaurant. While the curry was fairly standard and unspectacular, the smokey eggplant raita I ordered with it on a last minute whim saw me eating in silent appreciation while my colleagues chatted around me. Lacking the budget to lunch at restaurants everyday I set out to recreate the raita at home, and I am quite happy with the results!
This is a very thick, chunky, scoop-able raita – not the runny, pureed variety that runs right off your papadum!
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup natural yoghurt
- Drop cubed eggplant into a colander, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes; as the salt will pull moisture out of the eggplant, it's best to rest your colander over a large bowl or a sink.
- Heat a frying pan over a low heat and add the cumin and cayenne pepper; stir for thirty seconds. Scrape spices into a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Melt coconut oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Rinse the eggplant with cold water to remove the salt and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
- Add the eggplant to the pan and saute until soft and the skin turns a rich brown.
- Empty the cooked eggplant into the same mixing bowl as the spices and add in the onion and garlic. Allow the eggplant to cool to room temperature.
- Finish by stirring the natural yoghurt through the veggies and spices and season with salt to taste.
Nutrition per 1 tablespoon serve: 28 calories / 117 kilojoules, 2g fat, 1g protein, 1.5g carbohydrate,0.5g fibre, 1g effective carbs.