Eggplant Pate

When I started making this recipe, I wanted to make a traditional spicy eggplant dish that you find in Indian restaurants. As I was about to start cooking, I realized that I did not have tomatoes since I had used that to make a spicy split pea lentil recipe that turned out really tasty. Then I realized I was missing another key ingredient, Paneer (Indian Cheese). At this point I was too lazy to go out to the store to pick those items. I had to think fast as to what I was going to make for the blog and dinner. My daughter was starting to get impatient and she shouts “Dad, I am hungry! Is the food ready yet”. Ah, the pressure between trying to come up with a recipe when I do not have all the ingredients and a hungry little girl. Think, Think, Think.

Eggplant Pate on French Bread

How could I improvise a eggplant dish for which I did not have all the ingredients? But before I could improvise the dish, I needed to feed my wife and a really hungry and irritable daughter so that I can think in peace. I made some Basmati rice and served it with spicy split pea lentil. Eating rice with the lentil was enough to satisfy everyone. Now back to improvising my dish…..

Baby Eggplant

Now I had to figure out how I was going to improvise a recipe that not only will taste good but is also worthy of posting it on the blog. Plus, the photos had to look appetizing! Aha, got it. I just needed grated coconut. I frantically searched the pantry for it but could not find it. I knew I had it somewhere. At this point I was really starting to get irritated and opened the freezer to cool myself down with some ice cream. Lo and behold! What do I find? A pack of frozen grated coconut. The next item I needed was a container of Spanish peanuts that I found in the pantry. By now I had all the ingredients I needed to make a tasty dish with baby eggplants!

Eggplant

Cook the onions till they are carmelized as shown in the photo below:
Carmelized Onions

Eggplant with French bread tasted really good.
Eggplant Pate with French Bread

Eggplant Pate

Preparation Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Top a crusty french bread with the eggplant pate. If you added the green chilis for a spicy pate, then eat with Naan instead of French bread.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoon of oil
7-8 baby eggplants, peeled and cubed
(or 1 medium eggplant)
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon peanuts, salted, roasted
1/2 cup coconut, grated (can get frozen from any Indian or Asian grocery store)
1 serrano green chili, chopped fine (optional)*

Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

On medium heat, add oil and onions to a medium pan and cook onions till they are carmelized (light brown), approximately 10 minutes or so. Add ginger and fry for a minute. Add red chili powder, coriander powder and add chopped eggplant and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

Oil a baking dish and add the cooked eggplant mixture. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes. If you prefer a spicy dish to eat with Naan, add the green chili before baking.

Take the baking dish out of the oven. Grind the peanuts in a coffee grinder (I use a coffee grinder exclusively for grinding spices). Add the ground peanuts and grated coconut to the baked eggplant and mix well.

*NOTE: If you like the pate to be spicy, add chopped serrano green chilis before baking the eggplant. Eat with Naan. Yum

Enough for 4-6 people

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