Crispy Deep-fried Eggplant Slices
BAIGAN BHAJI

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
           
           Though fried potatoes are welcome almost any time of the day, fried eggplants are usually part of a meal, because they must be served just after they are fried. If they are held in a warmer, even for 10 minutes, the crispy crust softens and the overall effect is a soggy fritter. If you reuse the ghee or oil after frying, be sure to pass it through a fine filter to remove traces of flour; the inevitable residue would burn and shorten the life of the frying medium.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): hour
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

1 medium-sized eggplant (1-1 pounds/455-570 g)
       cut crosswise into -inch (6 mm) slices salt
1/3 teaspoon (1. ml) paprika or cayenne pepper
Whole wheat flour for dusting
ghee or vegetable oil for frying

1.    Place the eggplant slices on a tray and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let them sit for at least hour to draw out excess moisture. Rinse off the salt, then pat the slices dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the slices with paprika or cayenne.
2.    Place a small quantity of flour in a plastic or paper bag and drop in as many eggplant slices as you will fry in a batch. Shake vigorously, then remove each piece, shake off the excess flour, and set on a plate.
3.    Pour enough ghee or oil to measure 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) deep into a large, heavy deep –frying pan. Heat the oil to 375 f (190 C) and put in as many eggplant slices as will fit in a single layer. Fry each side until crisp and browned. Remove the slices with a slotted spatula and set aside on paper towels. Repeat for each batch.