Has it ever happened to you that you thought you ran out of your pantry stock and then while raiding your fridge in desperation, just minutes away from meal time you find this one vegetable lying right at the back? Isn’t that the greatest feeling ever ? !! You are just minutes away from opening your freezer to thaw something and a fresh vegetable comes to rescue 🙂 Well, i think i made my point. Today, this savior is my all time favorite Eggplant !
I am a total addict when it comes to Eggplant. I think i am not exaggerating when i say that i can eat it practically for every single meal ! With so many options of cooking with eggplant, it is a great replacement of “meat” in many a dishes. At my childhood home, everyone loved eggplant and my mother would prepare it in many ways, both Indian and oriental. After i shifted abroad, i learned that eggplant was widely used in many cuisines and that opened a Pandora box for me 🙂
For anyone who follows this blog probably already knows my admiration for this gorgeous purple beauty. Here are some recipes for u to try from my recipe box:
- Indian Eggplant in 5 spice blend (South Indian)
- Honey Mustard grilled veggie sandwich (for grilled eggplant)
- Aubergine/Eggplant Masala (North Indian)
- Ratatouille crepes (French influence)
Now, for this recipe below. The idea came about as an insipration from a very famous North Indian preparation called “Baigan Bharta“. Baigan means “Eggplant” and Bharta means a “mish-mash” in hindi. For that recipe, we usually remove the skin from the eggplant and use only the inner flesh. Since my eggplants have been under refrigeration for too long, they had lost the firmness and hence removing the peel would have been a tough task. So, i just scooped the flesh out. Started with the Baigan bharta recipe in mind and while preparing the ingredients for it, changed my mind and made this instead. This is a great way to use those eggplant skins and make them crunchy. My husband
(who does not like eggplant) found this dish really interesting and he relished it ! My purpose solved !
Crispy Crusted Stuffed Eggplant skins
- 2 big eggplant/ 4 medium or small eggplants (The smaller eggplants can be stuffed for individual servings)
- 1 tomato (can also use 1 tablespoon tomato paste or 2tablespoons tomato puree)
- 1 big onion
- 1 green chili / 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- pinch of Oregano flakes/ a few sprigs of fresh oregano
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup panko / home made bread crumbs
- 2 tsp Olive Oil + a little extra for brushing the eggplant skins
- 50gms/ handful grated parmesan/ mozarella/ feta cheese
- Begin with pre-heating the oven to 375 F.
- Next, take the eggplants and wash them thoroughly, keeping the stems intact. Cut each eggplant lengthwise in half. Now, using a spoon, take out the flesh from each half of the eggplant and keep aside.
- Now, brush the eggplant skins with olive oil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile we will prepare the stuffing for the eggplant skins.
- Now, take a pan and to it, add in 2 tsp olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the onion and stir fry on high till the onion is translucent. Next, add in the tomatoes, green chili, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir fry on high for a minute and simmer with a lid on the pan. Let the tomatoes get mushy.
- Now, add in the eggplant flesh and again put it on simmer for another 10 minutes. The filling is ready when the eggplant flesh is soft. Remove and keep aside.
- Now, fill the stuffing in the eggplant skins and keep aside.
- Mix cheese and panko together and sprinkle this on top of the eggplant stuffing.
- Bake this for 10-15 minutes till the cheese melts. Crispy crusted stuffed eggplant skins are ready !!
Note : The stuffing would be very hot and can be bubbling when you take it out of the oven. Be careful with eating. Yo don;t want to burn your mouth with the extra hot skin and filling.
This dish was so delicious and basically a casserole in itself. It was perfect to enjoy on its own and though i planned to savour it with home made naan, i ended up gobbling it up on its own.
Made with very less oil, this is suitable for diabetic patients and weight watchers (reduce the cheese component or completely remove it. You can also add some feta cheese if u like) !!