Badridzhnis Khizilala (Eggplant Caviar)

Eggplant CaviarStrictly speaking, this eggplant preparation is native not to Georgia but to the Caucasus region in general. It may be eaten plain or spread on slice of black bread.

Serves 12

3 eggplants or about 2 1/2 pounds in total
2 medium onions, peeled and finely minced
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 generous teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of one lemon

Place the eggplants in an ovenproof dish and bake preheated at 375oF (190oC). until tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in olive oil until they are soft but not brown. Add chopped green pepper and garlic: cook until the green pepper begins to soften, 10-15 minutes.

Peel the baked eggplants and chop the pulp finely. Add to the frying pan along with chopped tomatoes, honey, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Bring the mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour.

Remove the cover from the frying pan and continue to simmer the mixture.

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