Good eating here. A fine side dish for any table, omnivorous or vegetarian. It’s also good as a dip for corn chips or as an omelet or crepe filling. A schmear on a sandwich is amazing. This seems like a lot of ingredients but if you have everything at the ready, mise-en-place, the dish comes together quickly.

1 large eggplant
2 – 3 T vegetable oil
2 – 3 t peeled, chopped fresh ginger, minced or grated
3/4 c chopped scallion or onion
1/2 t salt, or to taste
2 peeled garlic cloves, minced, or, preferably, grated
1 t unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
1 T ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t garam masala
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 T water or stock
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 – 3 t fresh seeded, chopped jalapeño pepper, or other green chile pepper
2 – 3 T chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 T lemon juice, or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Make a few cuts into the flesh of the whole eggplant, put it on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until the skin is blackened and the eggplant is collapsing. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut off stem, them remove as much of the skin as you can. Put the eggplant into a bowl and mash.

2. Heat the frying pan for a minute on medium heat, then add the oil. When the oil is hot add the ginger and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the scallion along with the salt and sauté for a few minutes just until the edges start to brown. If using onion instead of scallion, this will take longer. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, no more than a minute. Stir in the spices and cook, stirring, another minute. Add the water and cook another minute.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Then stir in the mashed eggplant. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeño and 1 T of the cilantro. Stir to combine and cook another minute.

4. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat. Taste for seasonings, especially salt, and add more if you like. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining cilantro.