This vegan eggplant dish is incredibly delicious and packed with umami flavour from the garlic and chili. It’s also a dish you can make any night of the week that’s healthy, tasty and quick to prepare.
Golden Fried Eggplant Goodness
The eggplant is fried in olive oil until golden brown and finished with a bit of garlic, lemon, smoked paprika and fresh basil. I love the smell of the fresh garlic and the sweet smoked paprika when added to the hot, fried eggplant!
Smoked Paprika Addiction
I love smoked paprika so much it’s an addiction. You can use normal paprika spice if you can’t find the smoked version but it’s nowhere near the same in deliciousness. Smoked paprika with fried eggplant adds a meatiness to the dish that is divine.
When to Use this Dish
This vegan eggplant has an meat-like texture that is a perfect substitute for vegans and vegetarians. The best way is to have this dish as a side but it can also pair well with many options such as:
- Added into fried rice
- Stuffed in a sandwich with extra fresh basil
- On the side with lamb and beef dishes
- As a cold, marinated starter
Salt the eggplant over a colander for about 30 minutes to remove excess moisture. This will make it fry a lot nicer. Always be careful when frying wet food as the oil will splatter. Make sure to dry the eggplant well.
If you’re in a hurry you can skip this step, although it will not fry as nicely.
Fried Eggplant with Garlic, Smoked Paprika and Basil
- frying pan
- 2 whole eggplants
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 whole lemon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ bunch fresh basil
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- sea salt to taste
- Begin by cutting the eggplant into tiny pieces. Place the cut eggplant on a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let sit in the sink for about 30 minutes.
- Rasp one clove of garlic into a small bowl and cover with olive oil. Pick some nice basil leaves and set aside.
- Once the eggplant has "cured" for 30 minutes, begin by drying it on paper towels. Try to remove as much water as you can with the paper towels.
- Add a good amount of olive oil to a frying pan and set on medium heat. Carefully fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown. Be very careful not to burn the olive oil as this will ruin the taste.
- As soon as the eggplant is ready, remove from the hot oil and place on paper towel. Immediately move to a bowl and add the raw garlic, chili, a squeeze of lemon juice, smoked paprika and toss.
- Serve the eggplant on a big plate and garnish with fresh basil.
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