I love eggplant. It’s amazing how it sits comfortably in cuisines around the world. I love the Indian eggplant recipes like the baingan bharta, baingan bhaja or the kashmiri baingan as well as recipes from other cuisines like the Greek Moussaka, the Italian baked pasta, the arabic babaganoush and even the simple roasted eggplant.
This recipe is a mix between Indian and Italian. The inspiration came from Italian Melanzane alla Parmigiana but I made quite a lot changes to it. Like baingan bhaja, the eggplant slices are rubbed with salt and pepper and then deep fried. The tomato sauce is a chunkier version of my baked pasta sauce recipe. I felt like the dish needed a grain to be a complete meal and soft couscous made a perfect accompaniment though without couscous also the dish makes a great casserole!
Eggplant and Tomato bake with couscous
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking time: |Serves: 4
1 big eggplant (~400gms), cut into thin half slices
3 cloves of garlic
4 tomatoes, chopped
100 gms tomato puree
1 onion, chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika powder
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Oil for frying
1 cup couscous
- Put the eggplant slices in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over salt and paprika. Toss them well and keep aside for 10 mins while you cut all other veggies.
- Heat for frying and fry the eggplant slices in 2-3 batches. Remove on an absorbent kitchen paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 200ºC.
- In another pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot add garlic and chillies. Sauté for a minute. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes till the onions start to become translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Add half a cup of water. Mix well and cook covered for 10 minutes till the sauce starts bubbling. Season with mixed Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
- In a baking dish, add a layer of eggplant slices and then spoon over the chunky tomato sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese. Bake in the middle rack for 15 mins. If you are using a smaller, deeper dish repeat the layers until all ingredients are over.
- Meanwhile, soak couscous in 2 cups water for 10 mins. Fluff with a fork.
- To serve, divide the couscous into 4 plates. Top with eggplant, tomato and parmesan bake. Serve hot.