spicy fried aubergines
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Hot and spicy fried aubergine with chives, hot sauce and yoghurt; a simple side dish or a starter. Aubergine slices are dusted with flour to stop it from guzzling oil so much and make the dish a little healthier.
If I was vegetarian, I’d count myself lucky for loving aubergines and mushrooms. Those are the two vegetables that resemble meat the closest in their texture and post-consumption satisfaction levels. Fry them, roast them, bake them, season with lots of salt and pepper and you could fool me (not).
Both are a source of protein though unfortunately not so rich, about seven times less so than lean meat. But if you supplement them with cheese or Greek yoghurt they will become a wholesome dish. That’s why aubergine parmigiana, the Italian dish of aubergine layered with mozzarella, tomato sauce and parmesan makes for such a satisfying meal. I always think I could pull off the veggie act provided I was given enough melanzane parmigiana.
The recipe below is a bit like an unfinished parmigiana or even one only just started. Aubergines are famously oil guzzlers so the flour coating restrains their appetite a bit. The heat of the seasoning can be adjusted according to taste; I went for hot and spicy but if you want to serve this as a standalone dish, for lunch or as a starter, you might want to tame the heat a bit.
spicy fried auberginesServings: 2-4Time: 30 minutes
- 1 large aubergine
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- groundnut oil, for frying
- snipped chives, Greek yoghurt and hot sauce, to serve
1. Slice the aubergine into 1cm (½ inch) thick discs.
2. Stir together the flours, spices and salt and spread in a shallow dish.
3. Preheat a large heavy frying pan until smoking, then turn down the heat to medium. Pour some oil into the pan, at least a couple mm thick.
4. Toss the aubergine slices in the seasoned flour, shake off excess and fry them in batches for about 2 minutes on each side, until they are charred on the outside and soft throughout. Transfer to a warm dish and keep in a low oven while you cook the next batch.
5. To serve, sprinkle with sea salt flakes, snipped chives and sparingly drizzle with sriracha sauce. Serve with Greek yoghurt on the side.