Indian style Eggplant Parma

Want something a little different?

Try this recipe for Indian Eggplant Parma (like Parmesan)
You will need:
Oven temp 350 degrees
1 Oiled 8-10 inch square or 9x13 rectangular pan.
Squares are better for layering.
Rectangular pans will be better if you like it more dry.
This recipe is easy to double or triple for large gatherings.

1 large eggplant
1 small can of tomato paste
3 stems each fenugreek and basil
1 stem mint
4-5 Indian medium sized green chilies
2 cups of om podi or crispy breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella or mild flavor melting cheese

Start with 1 large eggplant:

Peel off the skin, and slice it in 1/2 inch rounds across from stem to end.

Next you will need to salt and soak them to remove exces moisture and bitterness.
Rub them with (I used iodized) sea salt and let the slices sit in a large bowl for at least 30 mins minimum - up to two hours.

Go ahead and chop the leaves from 3 stems of both fenugreek and basil; and, a stem of mint .
Chop or grind 4 cloves of garlic and at least 4-6 green chilies from your local Indian spice store or bazaar with a little water.

Add this to one can of tomato paste in a medium saucepan and add at least 2-3 cups of water for volume.
Add the water one cup at a time to check sauce for consistency. Cook on medium heat until bubbly and flavorful. You will not need to add salt in this recipe. You may use a store bought sauce if you like also.

At the Indian spice bazaar, you will find a box of crunchy snack called om podi. In commercial form, it is a very small grain, thin fried noodle. When made at an Indian home, the press used is different, so the noodles come out larger. This is a traditional Indian snack that was given to me complimentary with my purchase at the local shop. They'd just celebrated Diwali the previous day. Love the new experiences you have when talking to people! I ground this to a smaller grain to make my batter coating. I liked om podi because it was crunchy enough to withstand the egg and later the sauce, without being soggy.

Take two cups of om podi - or crunchy breadcumbs if you wish - and grind them to a small grain. Pour them into a deep platter. Add dried spices : 2 tsp each of garam masala, Indian red chili powder, tumeric and onion powder. You may use less red chili powder if you don't like it spicy. I do!) Mix the spices and om podi together well.

Check on your eggplant. When ready, they will have 'sweated'. Squeeze out the excess moisture with a paper towel holding each slice flat between your palms. Then, run them under water to rinse the salt off.

Break 3 large eggs into a small bowl and stir lightly but thoroughly to blend them yellow, not frothy.
Dip each slice into egg mixture, then into breading mixture and place evenly in your oiled pan.

Layer this with:
Shredded mozzarella cheese or other mild cheese
Top with the parmesan and bake at 350 degrees 30-35 mins.  The smell is so enticing!
When almost done add shredded mozzarella and cook a few more minutes to melt cheese topping.
Cut into squares and enjoy with pasta or rice.
Enjoy the complex flavors and happy eating!


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