Lukshon is our new favorite restaurant. Southeast Asian tapas, complimentary AMAZING desserts, open pretty late, what more can you ask for after going out for a drink on a friday or saturday night? Of course I forgot to take pictures while we were there so I can’t blog appropriately about it, but I can share an eggplant dish inspired by the one from Lukshon. The eggplant at Lukshon is tangy, sweet, and savory in all the right ways. The eggplant is a small plate and lightly crispy with fried eggplant fries on top with an excellent fennel raita (yogurt sauce). In my attempt to make something a little bit similar, I can’t even remember what I googled (probably tamarind and eggplant), but I found this recipe on Priya’s Versatile Recipes. So many unique flavors caught my attention and I had to try it.
The final dish isn’t crispy and I totally forgot about the fennel raita, but it does share some similar flavors with the original. I also added crispy fried onions to kind of mimic the eggplant fries. Adding more sesame oil later on in the cooking shows off the sesame oil flavor more. If you want to go more light, I would use very little in the beginning, but still add more later. The flavors did turn out to be amazing and I think it was even better the next day!
We had this with simple Indian broad beans with coconut, whole wheat paratha (frozen from the Indian market), and yogurt.
Coconut oil for deep frying (optional)
1 very thinly sliced onion (optional)
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ajwain
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves sliced
2 tomatoes chopped
10-15 small eggplant cubed
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-2 more tablespoons sesame oil
2 cups water
- Heat just enough coconut oil to deep fry onion in a shallow skillet. Fry until the onion is crispy and brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
- Heat sesame oil in a bit saute pan and add the mustard seeds, ajwain and fenugreek. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the curry leaves.
- Add the onions and saute until they start to brown, adding the garlic part way though cooking.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until softened.
- Add the eggplant and saute until soft stirring occasionally – you can cover to rush this a bit.
- Add coriander, cumin, chili powder, and white pepper and cook for a minute or so.
- Add tamarind paste, brown sugar, salt, more sesame oil, and water and cook until the oil starts to separate.
- Top with crispy fried onions and serve with paratha or rice, and yogurt.