The relentless march of time - roasted eggplant and Avocado dip

There used to be a time when I would turn my nose up at many dishes my mom cooked and refuse to eat any of her "experimental cooking".   My most hated dish was my sister's favourite, Mulangi (radish) Sambhar and Kathirikkai (eggplant) curry.   Every time she made the dish, my mom would recall, I once said it looked like cockroach sabji.  Yet she still made it and ate it.
BTW in what seems like another lifetime, DH used to cook for his room mates in his UT Austin days.  Once he made something and the girl eating it found a cockroach in it!  She put it out and continued eating.  Are graduate students really that starved?  I certainly wasn't.   And I never ate his cooking in those days because he was still a meat eater.  The vegetarianism started in our engagement period.   (Coincidentally. I take no credit for it.  He is pig headed and probably makes it a point of morality to not take my advice. I am going to enjoy the repercussions of this statement.  Akin to asking when did you stop hitting your wife :)  Thank God for small mercies!
Coming back to my mom, I would throw a tantrum every time she jazzed up traditional foods - bournvita in mysore pak, onions in nipattu, peas in arisi upma, the list is endless because she devoured recipes in any magazine.  And then when cable came along, the tamil channels.  She was a good cook with an extensive repertoire, and a fairly good instinct for what would work.  And I was Gautham :)
Karma bit me strongly in the butt.  Gau complains about most things I make, he does not approve of making anything healthier - whole wheat pizzas, whole grain muffins, multi-grain granola are all met with disapproving gazes and all the snark his fairly incisive tongue can muster.  There is never an appreciation for the sheer variety of things I cook for him.  I was certainly more loyal than that and enjoyed throughly most of whatever mom made.  The health nut phase, when I complained about the sweet/salt/oil in everything she made, started only after I realised how dangerous her diabetes was.   Then it was justified!
The only eggplant dish I tolerated is Baingan Ka Barta, roasted pureed eggplants cooked with onion+tomato+garam masala.  I proceeded to try it at home - it used to be a superhit amongst my Housemates in my UT Austin days; I remember Thai spooning the mashed eggplant even before I added my gravy and spices!  Gau and DH dislike it.  I tried the middle eastern versions with yogurt/ with tomato garlic lemon.  Still no go.  I tried deep-fried eggplant bajji. Shockingly no-go!
For my nth trial, I chopped the eggplant, added salt and olive oil, roasted it in the oven until it acquired a darker hue  and kinda shrivelled up - about 20 minutes.  Then I blended it coarsely with green avocado, lemon juice and pepper.  I finally fried shallots, garlic, tomato  and added it to the blend.  Then I added some herbs, Basil from my terrace (I am such a show off ;) ,  coriander from my farmers basket.  Bingo! DH loves it. Gau thinks it is ok.  I served it rolled up with some scrambled egg in a roti.  He finished his lunch box, no remnants.  It must have been more than OK.


  1. 2 medium sized eggplants chopped and roasted at 375 deg C for about 20 min
  2. 1 medium sized avocado peeled and chopped.
  3. 1 lemon juiced
  4. 10 shallots peeled and chopped
  5. 1 tomato chopped
  6. 2 garlic pods
  7. 1 + 1 tbspoon olive oil
  8. 5 - 6 basil leaves
  9. 3-4 sprigs of coriander


Blend 1 -3 with a tbspoon of oil
Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic shallot and fry until slightly browned
Add tomatoes and salute until softened.
Mix the blend with the fried ingredients.
Serve as a dip or a topping for bruschetta or a filling for a roti roll.  Always top with a little extra virgin olive oil.

BTW, I stopped complaining so much only after I had Gau.  I was grateful to have someone take care of me, cook to my desires.

PS:  Why this strange combination of ingredients in Chennai, India?  Both were impulse organic store purchases.  Avocado is usually popular at home, lot of eating at the Spoonbill and Don Pepe.  I just moved eggplant into its sphere of influence.
eggplant+avocado dip 
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