Preparation / Directions:
Place the eggplants directly over the gas burner, or grill over a wood fire. Cook on all sides until the skin is black and charred and the flesh feels soft when pierced with a fork.
Grind the coriander and cumin seeds, and mix with the turmeric, salt and red pepper on a small plate. Set near the stove.
Peel the eggplants, being sure to remove all the black, charred skin, and wipe them clean with wet hands. Squeeze out all the water.
Chop the eggplants coarsely and set aside.
Heat the oil in a heavy, shallow pan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns almost reddish brown, 10 or 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the mixture turns reddish brown, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Stir in the spices and green chiles and cook, stirring for about l0 seconds. Add the tomatoes and let the mixture simmer until the tomatoes form a sauce and oil separates from the sauce.
Stir in the eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the oil again separates from the sauce. Taste for salt, stir in the garam masala, lemon juice and cilantro.
Serve hot or cold with Indian bread as a side dish.
NOTE: Garam masala, a spice blend, may be purchased at Indian markets or made up from recipes in this recipe collection.