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Smoked Eggplant with fresh herbs

2 medium eggplants (about 1lb each)
1-1/2C finely chopped fresh ripe tomatoes (or 1C canned, drained, chopped)
1/2C shelled peas, fresh or frozen
9T light vegetable oil
1t minced garlic
(2 green chilis, seeded and minced)
1T grated fresh ginger root
2t Kosher salt
1-1/4C finely chopped onions
2-3T finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Wash eggplant under running cold water, and wipe dry with kitchen

Roast the eggplants. To roast, stand one eggplant on a burner of
a gas stove, stem side uppermost, over a low flame, until the bottom
of the eggplant is thoroughly charred (about 5 minutes). Now lay
the eggplant on its side, and roast, turning it every minute with
a pair of tongs unti it is fully charred and very soft (about 15-20
minutes). When fully cooked, the eggplant will be quite limp, the
skin blistered, and the juices beginning to ooze out. The eggplant
may be roasted on a high or medium flame as well. The time taken
for roasting will vary, of course, depending upon the heat.

Or the eggplants may be roasted on a baking sheet in the middle of
a preheated 500F oven for 20 minutes.

Let the eggplants cool briefly. Then carefully scrape the charred
skin off. Rinse quickly under running cold water to wash away any
skin that may still cling to the eggplant. Place the eggplants in
a small bowl. With paper towels, pat dry all the juices oozing
out, pressing the eggplant slightly. (The juices carry the bitterness
often found in eggplant. Therefore it is essential you dry them
thoroughly.) Then chop the pulp coarsely with a knife. If there
are any large hard lumps, chop them fine. Put the pulp in a small
bowl, and beat with a fork for a minute. Set aside.

Cook the fresh peas in a little water to cover, for 5 minutes or
until tender. (If you are using frozen peas, cook them following
directions on the package). Drain, and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a shallow pan, preferably
one with a non-stick surface. When the oil is hot add garlic and
ginger, and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add onions, and fry
until they are light golden -- do not let them brown - - (about 8
minutes), Stirring constantly to prevent browning. Reduce heat to
medium, add eggplant opuree, and cook for an additional 8 minutes,
stirring often.

Add tomatoes and chilis, if you are using them, and continue cooking
until the eggplant and tomatoes are fried (about 10 minutes). Add
peas, and cook until a glaze forms on the puree and the fat begins
to seperate (about 5 minutes) Turn off heat, and stir in salt.
Just before serving, check for salt, and fold in chopped cilantro
(coriander) leaves.


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