Indian Eggplant Parm

Editor’s Note: New contributor Prof. Fusion, an English professor, kitchen dabbler and Dora the Explorer antagonistjoins ES with pretty much our favorite thing…a new sandwich!

This is basically your classic Italian eggplant parm sub, gone Indian—although there’s no Parmesan inhabitant on this blissfully delicious breaded island, just Provolone. The inspiration behind the Indian eggplant sub spawned from  the Food in My Beard’s chicken crispy masala. When I first made this, I made a few adjustments to Dan’s amazing recipe (i.e. how I breaded and fried the chicken—dusted with salt and curry powder), and this salaciously cheesy dish quickly became my wife’s favorite dinner option. One night, I planned to do the same thing to eggplant, when my food muse spoke to me in a garlic-infused whisper, “Why not make this into a sub?!”  And there’s our causal chain, people.

Note: if you’re not a big fan of eggplant (my pal Russ hates its texture, whereas Caitlin finds it tolerable—she’s far too polite), then use chicken instead. I really dig the fusion of Indian/Italian flavors; these yield great pairings when using Indian spices instead of Italian ones.  And what can honestly go wrong when there’s tomato sauce and cheese involved?

Indian Eggplant Parm

I start with the Masala sauce.  I pour a little olive oil in a pot and saute the following ingredients over medium heat:

1/2 medium sweet onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 sweet red bell pepper
then add 1 tbsp ginger

Once the onions become translucent (I usually envision a wet t-shirt), add the following spices:

2 tbsp curry powder (I know, curry is in Masala, but I like more)
2 tbsp Masala
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Continue to saute the veggies and spices for about 2 minutes, then add:

one can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey

Turn the heat down to low and let simmer while working on the eggplant.

Slice the eggplant into strips and season with salt.

In a bowl mix 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk.

In another larger bowl combine:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp corn-starch (this gives the eggplant a nice tempura feel)
Dredge the strips of eggplant through the egg/milk mixture, then through the flour, then to a frying pan with oil over med-high heat.

Dust a paper towel on a plate with salt and curry powder to absorb oil from the eggplant.
When taking the eggplant out of the frying pan, dust again with curry powder and salt.
(I also like to fry up these eggplant strips and serve them with Masala sauce as a side dish.)


I use take-and-bake sub rolls from the local grocery.
Slice these open, spoon in a layer of masala sauce,
Stuff with eggplant, add more masala sauce over the eggplant
Top with cheese
And throw these under the broiler until the cheese browns.
Remove from the oven, plate with a side of Tabouli salad and favorite IPA.

To recap… the Masala sauce:
1/2 medium sweet onion
1 sweet red bell pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp Masala
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
then add one 16 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey.

Fried eggplant includes:
1 medium eggplant cut into strips seasoned with a little salt
In a bowl mix 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk
In the larger bowl combine 1 cup all-purpose flour (add more when necessary) and 3 tbsp corn-starch.
At least one inch of canola oil in a frying pan over med-high heat.
Curry and salt to dust fried eggplant strips.

4 sub rolls
Package of sliced Provolone.

Libation: New Belguim’s Ranger IPA
Tuneage: Sachal Studios Orchestra’s Jazz Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova

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