Serves: 6 - 8
2 large, oval eggplants each about 375 g (13 oz)
salt, for sprinkling
125 ml (4 fl. oz./ ½ cup) oil
500 g (1 lb 2 oz./2 cups) drained yogurt*
2 garlic cloves, crushed
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped walnuts, to garnish, optional
1. Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, then slice crossways to 5 mm ( ¼ inch) thick slices. Sprinkle the slices liberally with salt, stacking them if necessary. Leave for 30 minutes, then rinse and dry with paper towels.
2. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the eggplant in batches, over medium heat, until golden brown on each side, adding more oil to the pan as required. Drain on paper towels.
3. Mix the yogurt and garlic with salt to taste.
4. Place a layer of cooled eggplant in a serving dish, overlapping the slices a little. Season with pepper and spread some yogurt mixture on top. Repeat the layers, finishing with a layer of yogurt.
5. Cover and chill. Serve garnished with chopped walnuts, if desired.
• to make drained yogurt simply place yogurt in a cheesecloth or a doubled piece of muslin, tie it up with string and suspend it from a fixed object over a receptacle to collect the draining liquid. Leave for 2-4 hours, depending on the initial thickness of the yogurt. When drained, the yogurt should have the consistency of softened cream cheese.
Recipe from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook by Tess Mallos