From Our Vegetarian Lab : The Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan
Living in a hostel or living independently is a giant pain. Especially when you want to try out those saliva inducing dishes they make on various food shows. So we decided to bring to your consideration one of the major vegetarian savior dishes and cheese lovers delight called the Eggplant Parmesan. Eggplant Parmesan or the parmigiana di melanzane is a casserole dish made in southern Italy.
We’ve tried to explain it simply so you opt for this instead of those two-minute noodles. Eggplant parmesan can be easily made at home and its ingredients would be easy to find in your nearby market. This dish is filling as well as flavorful. You can flaunt off your gourmet skills once you’ve tried it out:
Here’s what you’ll need for the kickass Eggplant Parmesan:
Egg Plant (Brinjal):
1 or 2 Large ones.
2-3tsp if you are vegetarian, 1 egg if you are not
Whatever suits your taste brah
Enough for breading, duh!
As much as you’d like. Cubes for grating and slices for laying on top.
The ones leftover from Dominoes will do
Cloves of Garlic:
6 tbsp. Although Olive is preferred, Mustard oil adds a good flavor too.
2-3 chopped or minced to keep the texture
Fresh Leaves will do wonders, soak them and grind before using.
Depends on the spice you can handle
Prepping it up:
First step, wash the eggplants. Then peel the skin off. Cut the eggplant in quarter to half inch slices. Dry them up with a soft cotton cloth, sprinkle some salt all over the slices and cover it with the same cloth. Set aside.
Before we begin, we would suggest you to set a playlist of your favourite dance numbers. Makes cooking so much fun! As this is essentially an Italian dish you have to make it with lots of passion.
Start with the sauce first, that’s all the major cooking there is to this dish. Pour in 2-3 teaspoons(tsp) of oil. Throw in the garlic and onion and sauté them till brown. Add the minced tomatoes and stir around. Add the oregano, pepper and salt to taste. Add the 1 tsp of basil paste and wait till the water evaporates. You can decide the consistency of your sauce according to your need. Easy Peezy and the sauce is ready!
Bread it on:
The next step. By the time you are done with the sauce your egg plant slices would have released the extra moisture. Now take a clean tissue or a cloth and wipe out the salt from all the slices.
If you are using cornflour, then pour some in a saucer or a small plate with flat bottom. 1 tbsp of cornflour and 3-5 tsp of water would suffice. If you’re using an egg – crack ’em, beat ’em and lay ’em down.
Fire up your pan and pour in 3-4 tsps of oil. Take your slices and briefly dip them in your preferred dip. Make sure it covers both sides, then dip it in your bread crumbs and pan fry it till they’re brown and well done. This helps to keep them healthy. You can pour in more oil if needed.
Pull the slices out when they have a lovely golden brown color. Touch them to see if they are soft enough to eat right away.
Lets Bake (or Iron?):
There are of course a lot of homes, especially home of young folks who are living away from family. So here is an easy “jugaad” to have some cheesy fun without an oven or a microwave. The jugaad is your clothing iron. Yes, we know that sounds strange. But it really works!
Take your pan and cover the base completely with aluminum foil and leave some extra for folding later. Now cover the base with a bit of sauce. Now start layering your breaded slices. Between each slice add some sauce, grate some cheese or throw in a slice in the middle (feel free to choose your levels of cheesiness).
Once you have layered up and cheesed it up to your hearts content, cover up the aluminum foil and use an iron gently on the top to melt the cheese. Take your time, have some protection for your hands and press the iron all around the foil. Within a couple of minutes, you will have your own bubbly and herbaliciously aromatic Egg Plant Parmesan.
If you have access to a microwave or an oven, then life is really kind on you. Preheat the grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 176 degrees centigrade (if you live in a country with good sense of using the metric system.) Choose your container and start layering and then grill till the cheese melts.
This is truly one of those dishes which have the perfect combination of health and taste. Even if you don’t like cheese this is a fantastic dish that can easily fill you up too. Just substitute the cheese for cream. Trust us on this, it’s worth the effort.
You can have this kickass dish with a side of noodles, topped with the same sauce we made earlier. If you desire, go ahead and dig in with your roti. This crunchy creamy goodness never disappoints.