In India, the eggplants
are cut up with the skin on, but American tastes usually dictate peeling
the eggplant first; the choice is yours. Peel and slice eggplant into
1/2" to 3/4" rounds, discarding the very top and bottom slices. Cut each
slice into equally sized pieces, somewhere around 1 inch square. Sprinkle
eggplant with lemon juice, set aside. In a large, nonstick saute pan,
melt butter until sizzling, over medium-high heat (add garlic at this
point if using fresh smashed cloves). Add eggplant, shake and flip (eggplant
will absorb butter quickly). The pan will be very full at first, but the
eggplant will shrink down. Continue to shake for about 1 minute. Drop
heat to medium-low, sprinkle eggplant with CURRY POWDER, salt, BLACK PEPPER
and GARLIC GRANULES. Add 1 TB. water, stir to coat. Continue to cook for
about 10 minutes (up to 15 if your pieces are on the big side). Drizzle
in 1 TB. of water every 2 minutes while flipping eggplant. The eggplant
will brown during this period. The trick is to get nicely browned, thoroughly
cooked eggplant without overcooking to the soggy state. Just pull a piece
out and taste it when 10 minutes are up. It should be soft and slightly
firm, but not hard. Serve with simple rice as a nice light lunch, or use
as a vegetable side dish.
Serves: 6 as a
side dish, 4 as lunch with rice.
Prep. time: 5 minutes.
Cooking time: 12-17 minutes.