Tuesday, June 21, 2011

RECIPE - Eggplant with Coconut Milk (Berinjela com Leite de Coco)

Eggplants can be cultivated just about everywhere in Brazil, including the tropical north where the climate is similar to India, which is where eggplants were first grown for food. This very simple recipe is a good example of how eggplants are used in Brazil's north, and how they are combined with other tropical ingredients, in this case coconut milk and hot chili peppers. Brazilian cooks tend to be quite liberal with amounts of chili peppers, and this dish in normally quite spicy in Brazil. However you can "defuse" the dish if you wish by lowering the amount of chilis or substituting red or green bell peppers.

The resulting dish takes eggplant in a new direction - away from the Italian, Middle Eastern or Asian flavors we've come to associate with eggplant. Try making eggplant with coconut milk as a side dish next time you serve grilled fish or shrimps. Fish, this eggplant dish and white rice are all you need to make an authentic and marvelously tasty Brazilian meal.
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RECIPE - Eggplant with Coconut Milk (Berinjela com Leite de Coco)
Serves 4

1 large European-style eggplant, sliced thinly along horizontal axis
3 medium white onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 cup (250 ml) cononut milk
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
red or green hot chili pepper to taste, seeded and finely minced (Note: for non-spicy dish, substitute finely diced red or green bell pepper)
salt to taste
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Preheat oven to 350F (180C). In a glass or aluminum lasagne pan place the slices of eggplant in layers until you have used up all the eggplant. Salt them to taste.  Next toss the onions rings over the eggplant, making sure that all the eggplant is covered. Next, combine the coconut milk and the dairy milk in a large measuring cup and stir to mix thoroughly. Finally, sprinkle as much chili pepper or red pepper as you want to top off the dish.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the tin foil, then bake for an additional ten minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.


Recipe translated and adapted from Brigadeiro de Colher blog.

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