Yemenite Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil for sauteeing onions 6
tablespoons additional oil for sauteeing eggplant 1 medium onion,
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 3/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped OR 2 (28 oz)
cans plum tomatoes, drained and chopped salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons tomato paste (optional)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
Cut peel from eggplant. Remove ends. Cut eggplant into 3/8 inch
crosswise slices. Sprinkle slices lightly but evenly with salt on
both sides and put in a colander. Place colander over a bowl. In
addition, place a second bowl on top of the eggplant slices in the
colander. Put something heavy inside
this second bowl. Let weighted eggplant drain for 30 minutes. Turn
the eggplant slices over at this point and continue the weighting,
draining process for another 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat oil for onions in saucepan. Add onion and saute over medium-low
for about 10 minutes until onions are soft and light golden. Add
paprika, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes
cayenne. Stir well. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture
boil. Reduce heat and cook over low heat, uncovered, for about 30
or until tomatoes are very soft. Add tomato paste. Taste for
adding salt and pepper as desired.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 3 tablespoons of remaining oil and saute half the eggplant for
2 minutes on each side. Set sauteed eggplant aside and continue
sauteeing procedure with remaining eggplant.
Lightly oil a shallow 5-cup baking dish. Arrange alternate layers of
eggplant and sauce, ending with sauce. Bake 30 minutes or until
eggplant is very tender, basting occasionally.
Serve hot or at room temperature.