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Eggplant is a healthy play on Indian flavors

Nov. 11, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Dietitian's tip: Here, toasted mustard seed and other spices often used in India infuse olive oil with pungent flavor. The oil is then used to make a fresh cherry tomato sauce for smoky slices of grilled eggplant. Recipe courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant (aubergine), about 1 1/2 lbs.

1 tsp. mustard seed

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. curry powder

Pinch of ground ginger

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

1 T. olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1 c. tomato sauce

1 T. light molasses

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 T. chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Trim the eggplant and cut lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the slices on the rack or broiler pan and grill or broil, turning once, until the eggplant is tender and browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine the first 7 spices. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds. Quickly add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, molasses, garlic and vinegar. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.

Transfer the eggplant to a warmed serving dish or individual plates, pour the sauce over, and garnish with the cilantro.

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