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Spicy Egyptian Eggplant with Fresh Herbs

4 Servings

40 minutes

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The inspiration for this recipe was btingan mekhalel, a spicy, vinegary deep-fried eggplant dish sold by street vendors in Cairo. We learned our version from Abo Ahmed Sheta, who runs the café El-Gahsh. We made a lighter, easier and oven-friendly version of the dish. Because broilers vary in heat output, check the eggplant for doneness after 10 minutes. For the same reason, it also may need longer than called for. The pieces should be tender and lightly charred, but not falling apart. Harissa is a North African red pepper paste seasoned with spices and other ingredients; our favorite brand is DEA, which usually is sold in a yellow tube. Serve warm or at room temperature.




Don't allow the eggplant to cool before tossing it with the harissa mixture. As they cool, the chunks absorb the flavorings. Allow the mixture to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

40 minutes



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Lori O.
May 23, 2022
Followed recipe as written and loved it. The sauce is delicious!
Michele R.

"Really, REALLY, good!" was my hubby's two bits as we enjoyed this dish for dinner tonight. We made it per recipe for technique and ingredients except for substituting cilantro for the dill - cooking in the time of covid19 and fresh dill was not to be found but fresh cilantro was on hand in our kitchen - and for scaling recipe back by about 1/4 since we started with about 1 1/2 lb eggplant (v 2 lb of full recipe). It should have fed 3 people but it was just so REALLY REALLY good that we ate it all between 2 of us . Particularly delicious along with some Israeli Hummus (made per Milk Street recipe) and pita bread. The agrodolce Harissa based dressing, the texture added by the toasted lightly ground spices, the fresh herbs all with the just right broiled eggplant cubes was perfect. Easy too. Keeper. Fav.


Excellent. I added 1cup mint. The flavors are so intense it needed more mint.

Jovanna K.

Excellent! I was a bit shy on the eggplant so I added warm cut up potatoes which absorbed the dressing nicely. I, also, served this with the Milk Street Israeli Hummus recipe. Perfect combo along with some warm pita or flat bread.

Diana L.

I made it tonight. My husband did not like it neither did I. However, this recipe taught me how to cook eggplant by broiling it. I used to bake it. I will make it again this way but not put coriander or cumin.

Becky W.

Sooo good! We ate it on sourdough toast and topped it with feta. We also liked it with a bit of potato, as suggested by Jovanna K. As a side note, the eggplant was already charred and soft in 6 minutes. Looking forward to eggplant from our garden to make this again!

Regina D.

Very delicious! I made my own harissa and my husband stated this was the best eggplant he has ever had. I had extra dressing and I used it on Brussel sprouts I roasted. Phenomenal!!!