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Smoky Eggplant Raita

Smoky Eggplant Raita

At the farmers' market, look for peak-season eggplant, especially slender Italian or Japanese varieties. Use a charcoal grill for the smokiest flavor.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 2010

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Total:45 Minutes


  • 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


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.

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

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

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 97
  • Calories from fat: 52%
  • Protein: 3.3g
  • Fat: 5.8g
  • Saturated fat: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.7g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sodium: 271mg
  • Cholesterol: 8mg

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Smoky Eggplant Raita recipe