I’d not realized how hard it is to photograph food while it is cooking. There was something satisfying about taking photos of brinjal (Aubergine, egg plant, use your favourite synonym) as it is frying in a pan. The brown, black, and purple colour palette reminded me of the tortured paintings of Goya, reflected in the spilled guts of the fried brinjal.
But why a post about deep frying, you ask? Well, after weeks of being locked away at home, I was dying to eat something different. There was a large brinjal on the kitchen counter, which reminded me of deep fried Bengali brinjal. So I decided to adapt it to an experimental low-oil cooking method. I cut it into thin rounds, and then heated a tea spoon of oil in a non-stick pan. I put in three disks of brinjal, and they soaked up the oil immediately. The idea that I was trying to bootstrap is that they would release the oil after they were done, and I could put in more of the vegetable then, and cook it in the same oil. As you can see from the photos, this process could continue until I had the whole baingan fried. The Family pronounced this a success. “Unfortunately, you can’t make puri this way,” she told me.