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Meatless Monday: Punjabi eggplant curry

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First eaten at our neighborhood Indian restaurant, Kinara, this roasted eggplant and fragrantly-spiced sauce is typical of the Punjab. Best known these days among Westerners for the inimitable musical stylings of Punjabi MC, the Punjab is a region of densely-populated river valleys now shared between India and Pakistan but with a historical relationship with the Persian (Farsi)-speaking, Islamic peoples of to the north and east in Afghanistan and Iran. In fact, Punjab (Panjab in Farsi) means “five rivers”, and it is in this relationship to the baba ghanoush-eating natives and co-religionists of the Middle East that the dish’s roots lie.

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