As we adventure into adulthood, we must figure out how to make our life our own. All the things we take for granted while we grow up, particularly the food that’s made for us, must be reevaluated in our next stage in life. While it might be scary to think about how our parents and family may no longer be close enough to provide our daily necessities, it is at this point in our lives that we have the opportunity to find our tastes, express our curiosity, and establish what defines our days. Even simple things like this eggplant dish can be all it takes to help make our lives our own.

In my own life, freshly spun independence has caused me to look at the world for guidance. The story and image I’ve constructed for myself has necessitated taking inspiration from bits and pieces of the world I identify with. Be it places I go, activities I do, or food I make, each piece I integrate into my life comprises the unique composition of my individual self. This roasted eggplant with curried yogurt recipe is one of these very pieces.

Inspired by Ottolenghi’s cookbook Simple, this fabulously delicious amalgamation of tender eggplant, cool yogurt, and caramelized onions offers up a unique meal to integrate into your repertoire. With no precise culinary reference point or traditional name, this dish emblematizes a creative eagerness in search of genuine gustatory production rather than replication—constructing a symbol of cultivated inquisitiveness.

While the dish indeed satisfies hunger, it also allows you to express a novel aspect of your identity. Its relaxed composition and contrasting textures display your inner cook’s playful side, while the toasted spices and zingy yogurt convey a more thoughtful position. In essence, the recipe’s unconventional, bifurcated orientation unleashes a nuanced idea about the way your self-image often finds itself: orchestrated from multiple identities rather than a singular, predefined one.

This recipe is more than something to eat, it is a testament to what we find interesting and who we become. As this eggplant dish works in every occasion—from solo weeknight meals to dates to large dinner parties—I encourage you to view the recipe as an extension of your identity, using it to reflect new parts of who you are. 

Ottolenghi's Eggplant with Curried Yogurt Sauce

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:50 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 5 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • 3 large eggplants
  • 7 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons medium curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 large lime
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted and lightly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds toasted and lightly crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 450° F. Use vegetable peeler to peel away strips of eggplant skin from top to bottom, leaving eggplants with zebra-like alternating strips of skin and white flesh. Cut widthwise into 3/4 inch thick rounds and place in bowl.

    Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 2

    Toss eggplant slices with 5 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread eggplant rounds on parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Roast eggplant 40-45 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Set aside to cool.

    Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 3

    Juice lime, zest the lime skin, and set aside. Mix yogurt with 1 teaspoon curry powder, turmeric, lime juice, pinch of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Keep in fridge until required later.

    Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 4

    Put remaining 2 tablespoons oil into a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and fry for 8 minutes, stirring often, until soft and dark golden brown.

    Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 5

    Add remaining 1 teaspoon curry powder, sliced almonds, pinch of salt, and continue to fry for 2 minutes until the almonds have slightly browned.

    Maggie Gallagher
  • Step 6

    Arrange eggplant rounds on large platter, spoon the yogurt sauce on top, and top with fried onion mixture. Sprinkle with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, lime zest, and serve.

    Maggie Gallagher

As we are building grown-up versions of our younger selves, it is the little things we do to sustain ourselves that make us distinct. This recipe can build upon our self-image and further our journey of maturation.