Serves: Makes 4 servings
- 1 pound Italian or Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 serrano chile, halved lengthwise
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black mustard seed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin seed
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Prepare a moderate charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to medium (375°F).
- Brush the eggplants all over with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil. Season all over with salt. Place the eggplants, cut side down, directly over the coals or gas flame, cover the grill, and cook until the flesh is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from the grill, cool slightly, then scrape the eggplant flesh from the skin and chop coarsely. Put it in a serving bowl. Gently stir in the yogurt, sugar, and salt to taste.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a small skillet over moderate heat. Add the chile and garlic and sautŽ until the garlic starts to color, about 1 minute. Add the mustard seed and cumin and cook until the cumin darkens.
- Pour the contents of the skillet over the eggplant and stir in gently along with the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.