Friday, February 21, 2014

Burmese Eggplant & Fried Achovies

Khayun Thee Nga Chauk Chet in Burmese
Begun Shutki in Bengali
Eggplant is an all-time favorite vegetable in our family and adding anchovies to the mix takes it up several notches.

Burmese stir-fried dishes begin with a base of onions, garlic and dried chili paste. I used oriental eggplant in this dish and to reduce the amount of oil that is absorbed in the frying process, I decided to toss the pieces of eggplant with oil & salt and bake it in the oven. This also freed me up to prepare the base while the eggplant was baking. 

These fried anchovies are available in the Asian stores, preserved in soya bean oil. They're tossed into the pan when the eggplant is fully cooked and simmered for a few minutes more. They add a ton of flavor.

4 Oriental eggplant, cubed
4 + 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
2 large onions, peeled & sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp. chili powder or Kashmiri mirch
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 (8 oz.) package fried anchovies in soya bean oil
2 red chilies, diced
cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

  1. Heat oven to 400°F and line a cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Toss eggplant with salt to taste and 1 Tbsp. oil.
  3. Bake eggplant at 400°F for 10 minutes, turn over & bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove eggplant from oven and turn oven off. 
  5. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Fry garlic & onions for 5 minutes, add tomatoes & simmer until oil resurfaces.
  7. Make a well in the center of the pan, pour in 1 Tbsp. oil & chili powder.
  8. Add baked eggplant, stir well and cover.
  9. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until eggplant are cooked.
  10. Toss anchovies into skillet and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
  11. Adjust salt to taste and garnish with red chilies & cilantro.
  12. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with steamed Basmati rice.

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