For Romanians, the most popular way to prepare aubergines is to puree them.
For Romanians, the most popular way to prepare aubergines is to puree them. They are grilled, then pureed and sometimes they are mixed with boiled courgettes, finely chopped onion, sometimes with mayonnaise, and also some finely chopped garlic.
One other popular way of cooking aubergines, or eggplant, is to fry them. After peeling, the aubergines are cut into thin slices, half a centimeter thick, and laid straight into heated oil in a pan. Fry the slices on both sides, then set them on paper towels or let them drain. Peel a few cloves of garlic, chop them finely, then mix them together with chopped fresh dill and a bit of oil. Garnish the aubergines slices with the mixture. A more elaborate version is what is called Greek style aubergines. The mashed garlic is mixed separately with chopped tomatoes with a bit of water, and simmered for about 15 minutes. Towards the end, add plenty of finely chopped fresh parsley, and a bit of oil. Cover the fried aubergine slices in this simple and hearty sauce.
One other very simple and effective recipe is the aubergine patties. Bake two aubergines, peel them and mix them with two or three tablespoons of flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to make small patties, and fry them.
Romanians still make a dish that bears its original Turkish name, Imam Bayildi. It is a baked dish, made by slitting an aubergine lengthwise, and filling it with a mix of cooked vegetables, tomatoes, onions, red peppers, and garlic. This is a vegetarian dish.
Romanians traditionally eat a lot of meat when not fasting, and in Oltenia, a southeastern region of Romania, the locals make an aubergine stew with meat. Use one kg of beef, a kg and a half of aubergine, a head of garlic, a bunch of fresh dill, oil, and salt. Cube the beef, fry it lightly in oil, pour in half a cup of water, then cover and simmer. Peel the aubergines, slice them, sprinkle with salt, and set them aside to drain. Cube the aubergine slices, fry them lightly in oil, then mix with the meat and the sliced tomatoes. Add in the finely chopped garlic, and a sauce made of tomato juice and finely chopped onion, fried with a tablespoon of flour. Mix everything and set into the oven for about half an hour. Enjoy!
(translated by: Calin Cotoiu)