|YIELDS: 6 Servings||PREP TIME: 30 mins||COOK TIME: 45 mins||TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 15 mins|
A classic comfort food with an Indian Spice twist and gluten free by leaving the eggplant without breading. It's unique and CRAZY DELICIOUS!
2 large (each about 1-1 ½ lbs) globe eggplants, cut lengthwise into ¼” thick slices
Fine sea salt
2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter, softened to room temperature plus extra to grease a baking dish
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp garam masala
1 large white or yellow onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
6 oz shredded mozzarella
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 tbsp nigella seeds
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
8x12” casserole dish
- Preheat the oven to 400F°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- While the oven preheats, place a single layer of eggplant slices onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Add another layer of eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all of the eggplant slices are salted. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the tomato sauce while you wait for the eggplant: Heat the ghee in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the red pepper flakes and swirl the pan until the ghee turns light red. Add the turmeric and garam masala, and cook until fragrant, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the onions, and sauté until tender and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Fold in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Taste and season with salt or sugar if needed. Remove from the heat.
- Drain the liquid from the eggplant, give the slices a quick rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheets.
- Brush the slices lightly with a bit of grape seed oil, place in the preheated oven, and cook until the slices start to lightly brown, 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through during roasting.
- Grease an 8 x 12” baking dish with a bit of ghee. Layer the base with one layer of eggplant. Cover the eggplant slices with enough tomato sauce and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella on top. Repeat with the next layer of eggplant, tomato sauce, and mozzarella until all the eggplant is used up.
- The top layer should be eggplant covered by the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan all over and dot with the butter.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven; if there is excess liquid, you can draw some of the liquid out at this stage using a spoon from one of the corners. Sprinkle the nigella seeds over the top, rotate the baking dish halfway through, and return to the oven.
- Bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese starts to get golden brown on the sides. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the torn basil. Enjoy!