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Smoky Eggplant Raita

Total time 45 mins
Yield Serves 4
At the farmers' market, look for peak-season eggplant, especially slender Italian or Japanese varieties. Use a charcoal grill for the smokiest flavor.


  • 1 pound slender Italian or Japanese eggplant
  • About 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • About 1/8 tsp. cayenne

Nutrition Information

  • calories 97
  • caloriesfromfat 52 %
  • protein 3.3 g
  • fat 5.8 g
  • satfat 1.8 g
  • carbohydrate 9.7 g
  • fiber 3.3 g
  • sodium 271 mg
  • cholesterol 8 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°) with an area left clear or turned off for indirect heat. Pierce eggplant in several places with a knife. Grill eggplant over indirect heat, covered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to touch; meanwhile, continue with recipe.

  2. Toast about 1/2 tsp. cumin in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to darken, 2 to 3 minutes. Pound fine with a mortar and pestle.

  3. Warm oil in pan over medium heat. Sauté onion 3 minutes. Add garlic, then sauté until both are softened, about 2 minutes more. Let cool slightly.

  4. Slit eggplant lengthwise and scrape flesh from skin. Chop flesh coarsely and set aside.

  5. Combine yogurt, onion mixture, cilantro, and sugar in a bowl. Add eggplant and stir gently. Season to taste with salt, cumin, and cayenne. Garnish with a little more cilantro.

  6. Make ahead: Through step 4 up to 1 hour; hold at room temperature.

  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2-cup serving.