Before eggplant season ends, make this wondrous recipe with small Indian eggplants. It is one of my favorite eggplant preparations. The eggplants are cleverly stuffed (see photo below) with a delicious mixture of peanuts, sesame seeds, cilantro, garlic and spices. Then they are pan-fried with a little water to cook through. It's much like cooking potstickers! Seriously.
It's vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free but fitting for omnivores too! Enjoy the savory rich eggplants with rice and a curry or grilled or roasted meat. I either reheat leftovers or mash the eggplant and filling for a sandwich filling.
Indian eggplants are available at South Asian grocery stores, farmers markets that have Hmong vendors, and some Chinese markets. Pick solid Indian eggplants the size of jumbo eggs. Give them a gentle squeeze. They're typically pretty firm but you want to make sure there's no bruising. If Indian eggplants are unavailable, substitute small Japanese or Italian eggplants. Regular globe eggplants are too big.
Adapted from Ruta Kahate's excellent 5 Spices, 50 Dishes (Chronicle Books, 2007), the stuffed Indian eggplant recipe is my monthly post to MarkBittman.com. If you're familiar with this Indian recipe, how do you make yours? What do you serve it with?