Friday, May 20, 2011

Sri Lankan Eggplant Salad-Vegan

I love this salad because it full of bold flavors and a little bit of the unexpected.  The star ingredient is fried eggplant. Although this is a salad, it is really eaten as a side dish for rice and curry meals.

To make my version of this popular Sri Lankan Eggplant Salad you will need:
1 large eggplant.
1 large cucumber
1 cup of tomatoes (any variety)
3-6 green chiles seeded (serrano, jalapeno)
1 medium onion
1 bunch of green onions

Cut the eggplant into cubes. Marinate it with 1 tsp of red chili powder, salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder for about 10 minutes.

Cut all the veggies into small cubes or bite size pieces.

To make the dressing:
2 Tbs of rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of sugar
1 Tbs of grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic grated
1Tbs of mustard seed

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. If you use cider or white vinegar you may need more sugar.  Put all the ingredients in a blender or liquidizer and blend until it forms a smooth dressing.

Heat some canola oil in on high heat.  When the oil is hot fry the eggplant until is is golden brown (about 1-2 minutes).   You will have to fry several batches so the pan does not get crowded.

Note:  I wish there was a better way of cooking the eggplant.  You don't want the eggplant "mushy" so cooking it in the oven or microwave may not give the right texture.  The traditional way is to fry it.  I try to make myself feel better by saying this is the only ingredient that is fried in the salad and all the other ingredients are fresh.
You will have to drain the eggplant on a paper towel.  I actually drained it and changed out the paper towel twice because the eggplant does tend to soak up the oil.  I also blotted it with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Allow the eggplant to cool for 10-15 minutes before adding it to the salad

Pour the salad dressing and toss with salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add the juice of half a lime to give everything a bright flavor. 

Serves 6-8 people as part of a meal.  Enjoy.

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