17 Jan 2011 07:47 pm

Curried Eggs on Eggplant Pita

Serves 2

Curried Eggs on Egglant Pita1 medium-sized eggplant (about 1 pound)

2 tablespoons oil, butter or ghee
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin seeds preferably freshly ground
½ tsp turmeric
2 greek style (pocketless) pitas or flatbreads
4 eggs
¾ cup plain yogurt

Poke the eggplant deeply with a fork in numerous places on all sides and set it on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place under the broiler, as far away from the flame as possible. Cook, turning frequently, until the skin is charred and the eggplant is completely soft (ensuring especially that the meaty neck is soft), approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to be handled.

Lay the eggplant on a cutting board with the stem away from you. With a paring knife, make 3 or 4 lengthwise cuts, extending all the way from the stem end to the blossom end, slicing down to but not through the skin on the bottom. Open the eggplant as if butterflied and scoop out as many of the seeds as you can, flipping aside the layers of eggplant pulp to find additional pockets of seeds. Scoop out remaining pulp and finely chop. Discard skin, stem and seeds.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil or butter over a medium flame. Add half of the onion and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, then add the eggplant and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and additional salt and pepper as desired.

In a medium saucepan or deep-walled, medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and cook until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook 5 minutes longer. Add turmeric and ½ tsp salt and stir to combine, then stir in stock. Simmer 10 minutes until flavors are well combined. If needed, add water or additional stock to bring depth of broth to at least 2 inches. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.

Place pitas into a low oven to warm while poaching eggs. Carefully lower the eggs one at a time into the broth. Maintain heat at a slow simmer and cook until whites are set, about 7 minutes. Baste the yolks with spoonfuls of hot broth during the final two or three minutes of cooking until the tops of the yolks are firm. Carefully remove the eggs to a plate with a slotted spoon and cover to keep warm.

Strain solids from broth if desired. Place the yogurt into a medium bowl. Slowly pour a thin stream of hot broth into the yogurt and stir to combine. Repeat until yogurt is warmed and all broth has been added. Return to pan and gently re-heat over a low flame for 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture boil.

Remove pitas from the oven and spread with eggplant mixture (you might not need to use all of the eggplant). Place two eggs on each pita and top with sauce. Serve with Coriander Skillet Potatoes.

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