CF 16/60 Egg Plant Cutlets2015-01-06
- Yield : 8
- Prep Time : 20m
- Cook Time : 6m
- Ready In : 30m
250g round eggplant (equally sliced into 8 pieces)
1/2 cup Besan (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup Self raising flour
1 teaspoon garam masala (Indian 5 spice mix)
50g sambal, curry/sambal/paste or satay sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper (optional)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup finely-chopped onion or fresh herbs of your choice
Oil for deep frying
Choose an eggplant that you think you could cut into 8 nice circles, mine was roughly 250g and I was able to cut it into 8 circles plus 2 small end pieces. As you know, not all pieces would be equal in size, so when serving match them with one large circle and one smaller circle per serve of 4 people as entree or 4 pieces each as mains.
Sift the flours together in a bowl, add garam masala and the seasoning of salt and pepper. Now add the chopped onions and herbs (if using) plus the sambal/paste/sauce (I used my own concentrated sauce) and you could similar http://www.simplysarj.com.au/2014/06/home-made-sauces-ogg-hot-sambal-relish-peanut-free-satay/ To make a thick consistency batter add almost all of the water to form a thick batter for coating and make sure that the batter remains thick. Avoid adding too much water because once it is in the mixture you can’t remove it so your only option would be to add more flour. Instead you can add a little bit of water at a time to achieve a reliable result. Once made let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
When nearing the 10 minute stage start heating the oil to either fry the cutlets all at once in a large enough pot/pan or fry them in batches. Slice the eggplants as suggested and carefully hold the edges of it and coat with the batter to spread it with a spoon all over and underside, evenly and as thickly or thinly as you fancy. Not an easy task but once you have mastered the technique it will become easier. Once done stand each circle on its edge in the batter bowl so that the batter stays on each of the circular sides. The sooner you have coated them the sooner you add them to the pan to cook on moderate to high heat for approximately 2.5 minutes on each side, checking that it doesn’t burn by lowering the heat when and as needed. Drain on a sheet of absorbent paper or drain in a sieve or colander. When ready, serve them as an entree for 4 or as a main for 2 with yogurt, sweet chili sauce or as desired.
Variations and My Story
This is my fundraising campaign recipe number 16 of 60 (CF 16/60) and I let my imagination flow as to how to make use of an eggplant I had in the fridge. I had done one similar to this recipe in Shanghai but then I used the local eggplants that are long and thin, so the circles were much smaller and not as big as the fish cutlet size that our Aussie eggplants can make. I think this is rather an impressive vegan dish. In my opinion the best part of this dish is that you can enjoy the eggplant crunchy, soft and gooey and hot all at once popped into your mouth with every bite! You must get the batter right for this recipe and make sure that the consistency is correct for it to stay on the eggplant when you spread it on. Over time I am sure you will get the hang of it. If you don’t like it deep-fried then instead place them in the oven. Make sure that you place the eggplant circles flat with batter on to greased baking paper for 20 minutes on moderate temperature and turn it over during half way cooking if crispier batter is needed then leave it baking longer. Enjoy!
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