September 12, 2019

Ask A Chef: Saffron Eggplant

Recipe: Hemant Bhagwani

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Chef Hemant Bhagwani of Toronto’s Goa Indian Farm Kitchen shares his recipe for Saffron Eggplant.

Q:  I ordered this eggplant dish recently and was stunned by how good it was — super tender, sweet and infused with a buttery, fresh flavor. I had to ask for the recipe! — Lynda Reeves

A: Hemant cuts Asian eggplants into wedges and tosses them with spices and cornstarch before roasting so they become both sweet and golden. He then drizzles them with a saffron yogurt and sprinkles on pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and basil for a flavor-packed appetizer.



  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 medium-sized Asian eggplants, cut into 3⁄4″-thick wedges
  • 4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Saffron Yogurt

  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 5 oz. coconut yogurt (unsweetened)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Sea salt


Yield: Serves 4

Roast Eggplant

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F, line baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with oil.
  2. In medium bowl, combine salt, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne powder, cornstarch and water. Add eggplant and toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes, turning as needed, until eggplant is tender and golden.

Make Saffron Yogurt

  1. In small bowl, add hot water and crumble in saffron threads. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in yogurt, olive oil and garlic, and season with salt, to taste.

Assemble Saffron Eggplant

  1. Place eggplant slices on large plate. Add cherry tomatoes and drizzle with saffron yogurt. Sprinkle with pine nuts, basil and pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Courtesy of Hemant Bhagwani (portrait), Blue Door Media (eggplant)


House & Home September 2019