Simple Smoked Eggplant
20 Min

Simple Smoked Eggplant

Eggplants are wonderful and versatile ~ they satisfy the meaty urge, taste good cold and can be seared, broiled, braised or smoked. During my years as the chef-owner of Indika restaurant in Montrose in Houston, I was forced to rein in an eggplant obsession when a cook pointed out that we had eggplant nine different ways on the menu - from pakora to pickle to raita. When it is eggplant season, there are plenty of varieties on farm-stand tables at local farmer’s markets. So, ignore the nightshade naysayers and cook this supremely simple smoked eggplant. Eat it with steamed rice or a roti. Or spread it on a warm toast the next morning and enjoy it for breakfast!
Share this recipe
Cook Time

20 Minutes



Step 1
Rub the eggplant(s) with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place directly over a gas stove (or on a patio grill). Smoke on all sides until the skin is completely charred and the inside appears soft and cooked through. Let the eggplant cool for 4 to 5 minutes then peel and discard the charred skin. Place the eggplants on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt.
Step 2
In a small frying pan on high heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. When it is just shy of smoking add the garlic and cumin seeds. The garlic will turn golden, and cumin seeds will pop and sizzle. Within 2 to 3 seconds, take the frying pan off the heat and drizzle the oil mixture over the eggplant.
Step 3
Place dollops of yogurt, sprigs of mint and cilantro and sprinkle red chili powder. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
1 large purple eggplant or 3 small ones (1 pound total weight)
Generous pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt, whisked
Cilantro for serving/garnish
Mint sprigs for serving/garnish
Pinch of chili powder (optional)

Notes & Variations

  • If the eggplant is large, smoking it may not cook it entirely through. In this case, after smoking, place it on a skillet or baking sheet, cover tightly with foil and roast in a 350°F pre-heated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Top the eggplant with toasted nuts, currants, sliced dates, or raisins.
  • Replace the yogurt with the juice of a lemon or lime.
20 Min

Let's take it back to simplicity.

Here are some of our favorite recipes that'll make you appreciate the simple things in life.