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Mesa'a’ah (Egyptian Fried Eggplant)

Get your eggplant fix with this simple and traditional Egyptian dish, best served with a side of pita
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 4

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
1 long red chilli or 2 birdseye chilli, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar
500g tomatoes, diced
Cracked black pepper
2 eggplants, sliced into 2cm thick circles
Pita bread, to serve

    Method

    1. Sprinkle salt liberally over the eggplant slices and place in a colander for 1 hour
    2. Coat a large saucepan with olive oil and heat on high. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook for 5mins, or until the onion is fragrant
    3. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, coriander, sugar, vinegar and tomatoes, and add a generous helping of cracked pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequent, for 10mins
    4. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel
    5. Coat a frypan with olive oil and heat on medium-high. Fry the eggplant in batches until golden (about 2-3mins on each side), and drain on a paper towel
    6. Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture and cook on low heat for 15-20mins, or until the sauce is thick and the eggplant is broken down
    7. Serve hot with a side of pita bread