• 1 large purple eggplant
  • 4 red, plump tomatoes
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • pepper
  • basil or dill

When I traveled to Kyrgyzstan several years ago I paid close attention to the meals I was served, so that I could make the comfort foods of home for my husband, who now lives here in the U.S. This recipe is something I was served many times, so I knew it was common and traditional Kyrgy food. The other night when I made this, my husband came home and was quite surprised and joyful to find this on the dinner table. He quickly gobbled down three of the little towers right away before moving onto the rest of the meal.

It takes a bit of time and effort, but dinner was still on the table in about 45 minutes.

Dinner's ready!

Begin by washing and slicing the eggplant and tomatoes. I used the best parts of the veggies and threw the leftover end bits into a green lettuce salad.

Get a few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil heating up in a deep frying pan, preferably one with a lid.

Once the EVOO is hot (I use medium high heat), place as many eggplant rounds as will fit into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt, put the lid on and let them fry for about 5 minutes.

While they are cooking, mix 4 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon basil, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Stir.

Flip eggplant. When done, place on a plate
to cool so that you can handle them. My one large eggplant made two batches in the pan. I considered using my griddle or oven and simply cooking this without oil, as it would be healthier perhaps. But it just wouldn’t be the same at all, so I choose to still fry these, but with EVOO and as little as possible in the pan. I had to add fresh oil for the second batch. Eggplant will soak the oil right up!

Once these are all cooked and cooled slightly you can begin assembly. Using a small spatula,
spread the mayo mixture across one eggplant round, top with tomato, spread more mayo, another eggplant round, more mayo, and top with a tomato slice. If these are slipping apart, you may use a toothpick to hold them together.

These can be enjoyed hot or cold.

As a variation, you may choose to first soak the eggplant rounds in beaten egg before frying. For an Italian version of this, add mozzarella or Parmesan cheese to the layering. This is also good with dill sprinkled on it, instead of basil.

Fry eggplant with lid on, to keep in moisture and flavor.

Fry eggplant with lid on, to keep in moisture and flavor.

Mix Garlic with Mayo for even flavoring.

Mix Garlic with Mayo for even flavoring.

Having all the ingredients ready to go is essential when assembling these.

Having all the ingredients ready to go is essential when assembling these.

fried eggplant