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spicy fried aubergines

Sun, 31 March, 2019

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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.

spicy fried aubergine cuisinefiend.com

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.

Aubergine is eggplant

To be sure: some of you, dear folk, know these as eggplant. Not a bad name either, seeing their shape, though being predominantly purple*, they are hardly eggy.

In the UK we call them 'aubergines' - the word obviously nicked straight from our neighbours across the Channel. And considering that ‘aubergine’ is very much a word for the brownish-purple colour, I’m not at all sure what they call that particular shade in North America.

Somehow it is hard to imagine anyone saying: ‘I got this beautiful eggplant-coloured jumper!’ But who knows?

Aubergines - the perfect meat substitute

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.

I know, there’s tofu, there are those intimidating things like seitan, tempeh or jackfruit that are supposed to entirely eliminate meat if you wish, but the level of processing necessary to make them edible is quite frightening. Isn’t it what we should shy away from?

Mushrooms and aubergines are plants, though the former possibly eludes the category, especially to a biology ignorant like me. They just need to be washed/topped/cored/trimmed and they’re food.

Fry them, roast them, bake them, season with lots of salt and pepper and you could fool me (not).

sliced aubergine cuisinefiend.com

Rich in nutrients, high in protein

Both aubergines and mushrooms 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. It has protein, lots of fibre and not many carbs.

I always think I could pull off the veggie act provided I was given enough melanzane parmigiana.

Spicy fried aubergines are a versatile dish

The recipe below is a bit like an unfinished parmigiana or one only just started, with an added kick.

Fried aubergines are rather bland and they also guzzle incredible amounts of oil. Salting the slices and leaving them for a few minutes before wiping and cooking does curb the oil absorption a little, so it’s not quite the obsolete process it’s professed to be.

But in the recipe below it isn’t recommended as the flour coating restrains the aubergines’ appetite for oil a bit.

I like them spicy, so I am liberal with Cayenne pepper and cumin added to the flour, plus I drizzle sriracha, Korean hot sauce over cooked dish. But the heat of the seasoning can be adjusted according to taste.

If, for example, 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 and reduce the Cayenne pepper to half a teaspoon.

hot and spicy eggplant slices cuisinefiend.com

More aubergine recipes

The king, queen and princess of aubergine dishes is melanzane parmigiana, mentioned above. My recipe is lighter than some, as I don’t coat the aubergines in breadcrumbs before cooking them and layering.

From the other side of the world comes another gorgeous aubergine dish: in Chinese yu xiang sauce. Sweet and sour, spicy and with a crunch, it’s so delightful, I also make a version of it with chicken.

Aubergine is fantastic in pasta dishes. Check out the tomato and aubergine pasta bake or baked aubergine ziti.

*yes, I KNOW they come in various colours including white-ish. Maybe those were grown first in America? Anybody knows?



spicy fried aubergines

Servings: 2-4Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 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


METHOD

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.

seasoned aubergine cuisinefiend.com

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.

fried aubergine slices cuisinefiend.com

5. To serve, sprinkle with sea salt flakes, snipped chives and sparingly drizzle with sriracha sauce. Serve with Greek yoghurt on the side.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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