Sunday, 7 January 2007

Eggplant Parmesan- Version 1 ( No Fry Method)


Eggplant Parmesan was something totally new to me until a few years ago. As a kid, I used to detest eggplant, I mean really detest it. I'd hide the eggplant pieces under my plate, feed them to my brother when mumma wasn't looking or swallow them whole with gulps of water- I'd do anything not to eat it.... Never would I have thought that this would become one of my favorite veggies in my later years. I remember trying this on the suggestion of my husband K when he took me to 'The Olive Garden' after we got married. I tried it, and I was hooked(but then again, I am hooked on everything Italian)...... Now, I have this habit of recreating the food I have eaten in restaurants at home..some come out wonderful and some, well...lets just leave it to your imagination. So, anyway, I tried this at home for the very first time by making the batter first, *bhajiya style* and deep frying the eggplant rounds in it and then dousing the whole thing in tomato sauce. It was a huge artery clogging success! Another hit recipe for my collection! Yay!

This time, I opted for something different and totally healthy. I decided I would coat the eggplant rounds in breadcrumbs and bake them instead of deep frying them. I was pleasantly surprised by the results....not only is this healthier...but tastier as well. Try it for yourself sometime and see! Here's what you need.

Ingredients: 2 large fresh eggplants cut into thick rounds, 2 cups breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Parmesan Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, half cup of milk.
For the sauce: 3 cans Italian style tomatoes, 1 large onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp Oregano, 1 bunch fresh Basil, salt, sugar, black pepper to taste, Olive oil.

First make the sauce..I always make the sauce at home because it is so much tastier than the store bought one. Chop the onions and garlic finely. Heat some Olive oil in a deep pot and add the onions and garlic. Add the cans of tomatoes and crush them with the back of the ladle. Stir the seasonings into the sauce - except for the Fresh basil, add that towards the end for the most flavor. Give the sauce a good whirl with a hand held blender.... and let this simmer on medium to low heat for a good 40-45 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Okay, now for the eggplants...cut them into rounds like in the picture. Set aside. Make the breadcrumb mixture by combining the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder and some Parmesan cheese- if you like. Take some milk in a bowl and get ready to dredge the eggplant slices in this mixture. Dip the eggplant slices in the milk first and then roll it in the bread crumb mixture. Set them on a tray lined with aluminum foil. These will be baked in the oven for 30 minutes at 325F. The tops should be browned and the eggplants should be soft. Once they are baked....assemble them in a baking tray to be cooked further.
Pour some sauce at the bottom of the tray, arrange the baked eggplant slices, and pour some more sauce on top, completely covering the eggplants. Add the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses on top. Cover with foil and bake at 325F for another 35-40 minutes.
Here's another look at the finished product.....I served this with Stuffed Bell peppers and homemade Garlic bread. This was a perfect meal to welcome my brother back home from the Army and we all enjoyed this healthier,tastier version of this classic Italian recipe. Enjoy.
I will post the Stuffed bell pepper recipe in the next post...

19 comments:

Sangeeta said...

Hi Trupti,

Wowee ! The first one to comment :)Great recipe. I love Eggplant Parmesan (and Olive garden does serve a heavenly one) :)- this is a healty and delicious recipe.

Coffee said...

I share the same thoughts on eggplant...... I used to detest it till I started eating them in italian food.... and after that there is no looking back!!!!!! (But only italian food :P) This eggplant parmesan look yum!!!!! And I am going to make this for my MBP.... chalse ne???? Dunno about the pic..... if my cam comes back till then, then fine.... otherwise.......??????!!!!!!

Asha said...

Glad you enjoyed your parents and brother's company!Eggplant Parmesan looks divine,bet they enjoyed it all!:))Good job Trupti.

Seema said...

Trupti, I know a lot of people who just don't like eggplant as you didn't. For me it has always been my fav. I just love eggplant and will definately give it a try babe.
Thanx

Pavani said...

Hi Trupti, I love eggplants and your eggplant parmesan looks delicious without lot of calories added. Will try this soon. Cheers

USHA said...

Hi Trupti,
Really wonderful receipe from you man.....As few says, my hubby doesn't like eggplant till date....

After seeing yours i feel like preparing it....let me give a try to convince myhubby with this receipe....

Vini K said...

Hi Trupti,nice version..I make it too..will post my version sometime.Yours looks yummy..

swapna said...

hai trupti
nice recipe..i know some other version..urs is also looking great..will try this also..
thanks for sharing..

Suma Gandlur said...

Trupti,
I am as you when it comes to eggplant.I am teaching my kids to eat all(yes,all)veggies.So,I cannot make a face,when it comes to eggplant and try to eat it some how. This dish looks fabulous and if I prepare it, I am sure it is going to be one of my husband's favorite. I am definitely going to try it and send you a picture of it.

Manasi said...

Hi Trupti, 'baingan raja'..... that's wot my hubby calls eggplant! he loves it and I totally relate to ur childhood sentiments (but I never swallowed it, no one could make me!!) Chalo, one more variation to try out for him! make him smile! Thanx a lot!

Manjula said...

Hi Trupti,

Can u post the recipe for the homemade garlic bread? Do u make bread form the scratch at home?

Manjula

Lakshmik said...

Hi Trupti

I have never eaten eggplan parmesan before as I had an eggplant allergy. I have overcome the allergy now, surely will make this one.

Meenal Mehta said...

Hey trupti,

sounds lovely , I will try it ..I can relate to not liking teh baigan when i was a kid when i overcame it long long ago with baigna bharta and bharwa baigan:)

Added you to my blog roll btw

Sandeepa said...

Hi Trupti
This looks so so gorgeous. Beautiful Picture
The brother must have been totally fida with such good food after the rough days at the Army
Have agreat time with the family

Nidhi said...

Its good to know that your parents and brother enjoyed eggplant parmesan.....its is looking delicious, I also love chicken parmesan, but eggplant me be a little lighter than chicken..so thats a better option and good for vegetarians too.

Thanks for sharing..

Nidhi.

Vani said...

I love that you baked the eggplants instead of deep frying. And u say it tastes better too! Wow! Will try your recipe for sure, T!

SJ said...

Hi Trupti,

Looks delicious. I love eggplant parmesan but never even thought of making it at home. WIll try this version - since I am a big fan of fan of baking instead of frying. I love to the taste of fried stuff but hate to do the frying ;-)

Coffee said...

hey, the eggplant turned out fab!!!! Dont have a pic but :( Thanks a lot :)

Maninas said...

Guess what 'm preparing parmigiana right now (that's the italian name)!

Here is a suggestion: for a healthier version, grill the aubergines instead of frying them. brush them with little olive oil, season and grill until they start going brown, or as you like them. it's equally delicious!

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