Using a barbecue fork, hold the eggplant over hot coals or a gas flame and turn slowly until the skin is blistered and singed in places. With a cloth, rub off what is loose. This will leave just a bit of the burned skin, which is necessary for the unique flavor of this dish. Now put the eggplant into the oven and bake at 350 degrees until it is soft, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cool until it can be handled. Remove the stem and, with your hands, thoroughly mush the flesh up in a bowl. Continue kneading with your hand until all the lumps are gone and what skin remains is broken up. If any large chunks of skin will not incorporate, remove them. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the oil, Salt
, sugar, and extra cayenne. Mix thoroughly. Begin drizzling the oil into the bowl gradually, and with your hand mix and knead until all of the oil has been completely incorporated. It will react rather like mayonnaise; the gradual adding and kneading of the oil into! ! ! the other ingredients will make a homogeneous substance that is not oily at all. Now add the Salt
, additional sugar if needed, and extra cayenne if you want it hotter. You may, of course, leave the sugar out altogether if you wish. Traditionally, it is almost sweet and sour in addition to the hot. Make it as mild or mighty as you wish by the addition of the extra cayenne.
Serving Ideas : Serve chilled.
NOTES : In the Middle East this is served with leaves of romaine lettuce for scooping; however I often serve it with traditional chips, tortilla chips, raw vegetables, or French bread, as well as leaves of crisp romaine. Yield: 3 cups.
Recipe by: Cole Publishing Group Recipe Collection
Posted to recipelu-digest by Karen Sonnessa <email@example.com> on Feb 3, 1998