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AFGHAN STYLE LAYERED EGGPLANT - BORANI BANJAN

INGREDIENTS :

4 medium sized Chinese eggplants (or 2 medium Italian eggplants)
2 tbsp. of virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices
1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. of ground turmeric
1 tsp. of ground curry powder
1 tsp. of paprika
1 cup of Greek-style yogurt
2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 tsp. of garlic salt
1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. of Kosher salt , divided
8 medium cloves of garlic, (finely chopped)

PREPARATION :

Preheat the oven on broil.

Cut off the ends of the eggplants and cut them in half, lengthwise. Then, cut each halve crosswise into 1/3 inch thick slices. Arrange the eggplant slices on two baking sheets, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Place the baking sheets under the broiler and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are slightly browned. Remove from oven and turn the heat down to 375 degrees.

Now, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan and sauté the garlic over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes, but, don’t let it brown. Add the remaining 1 tsp. salt, turmeric, curry, paprika, pepper, and tomato paste to the pan. Stir the mixture together and cook for another minute. Now, add the chicken broth to the pan, stir it lightly, and turn the heat to the high setting. When the liquid boils, turn it down and let it simmer for 5 minutes, regularly stirring.

Pour 1/3 of the liquid into a 9 X12 inch baking dish (slightly smaller is fine) and spread it across the bottom of the dish. Then, arrange half the eggplant on top of the sauce. Sprinkle half the cilantro over the eggplant and then layer half the tomato slices evenly on top of the eggplant. Now, pour on another 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat the layering with the remaining eggplant, cilantro, and tomatoes. Finish the dish by drizzling the last of the sauce over the vegetables, making sure to coat all of the pieces.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook another 5 minutes to brown the top. Mix together the Greek yogurt and garlic salt and pour the yogurt sauce over the eggplant and serve with pita or nan bread.

This dish will serve 4 to 6 people.