On a whim, I purchased a jar of Turkish origin Sera grilled eggplant from an Korean international hypermarket market. It was about $4.50. My jar label looked a little bit different than the one I linked, but it was this brand and product.
I am always looking for time saving cooking shortcuts that don't skimp on the resulting taste, and I noticed that Sera Grilled Eggplant did not contain oil or unpronounceable preservatives, but instead simply grilled eggplant, citric acid, and salt. I decided to give it a try. I was extremely impressed by the taste. I was expecting some kind of watery, slimy texture and a pickled or chemical under-taste that would indicate that this eggplant was not fresh and came from a jar. Instead, I was surprised to discover that it just tasted like freshly grilled eggplant with a little bit of lemon juice in it. It was very smokey, too. And unlike with fresh eggplants where there is a chance that your eggplant may be overly seedy or bitter, the jar was filled with tender prime eggplant flesh.
I used it to make the Levantine eggplant dish mutabal, which is basically just grilled eggplant mixed with tahini, yoghurt, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. I also added freshly chopped flat leaf parsley from my garden. It was delicious. In addition to trying it for baba ghanooj, would also like to try Sera eggplant in baingan bharta (Punjabi style mashed roasted eggplant with tomato-onion spicy seasoning). Another dish I had in mind was borani baingan-N. Indian-Pak Muslim recipe of mashed eggplant seasoned with yoghurt and crispy golden-red fried onions (I think there are also Persian and Afghan varieties of this, like kashk e badinjan.) I cannot wait to buy more of this product!
I wanted to let friends at CH know about it, but also solicit other suggestions for using this.
What other dishes can be made with this smokey grilled eggplant mash?