This recipe is part of the Don't Call Me Chef column. For the full story, go to "Toss the sides".
600g long eggplant
oil for frying
4 good quality pita*
cooked potatoes, sliced thinly
2-3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
savoury mango chutney
zhoug (recipe follows)
chopped salad (recipe follows)
salt and pepper
½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 finger-length hot green chillies, roughly chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
¼ tsp each of ground cumin, cardamom and cloves
pinch of sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse into a coarse paste. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
1 small cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced
a handful of parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together; season to taste.
Peel the skin of the eggplants from top to bottom in alternate stripes. Cut into 1.5cm-thick slices. Sprinkle with salt on both sides and leave in a colander for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, dab the slices with a clean cloth or kitchen paper.
Heat 2cm of oil in a wide pan. Fry the eggplant until brown on both sides and tender in the middle, 6-7 minutes. Drain.
In the same oil, fry the potato slices briefly until just brown. Drain.
To assemble: Place a pita on a plate. Arrange the eggplant and potato on top, overlapping the slices. Add hard-boiled egg. Season with salt and pepper, and spoon some zhoug and mango chutney on top. Add a little of the chopped salad. Fold the pita in half and eat immediately.
*Instead of pita, use baguettes sliced in half lengthwise.