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- 10 baby eggplant (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise with stem intact
- 1 cup fresh chickpeas (thawed from frozen + patted dry), or canned
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves (about 1 packed cup)
- 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
- 1 fresh green chile, seeds removed if desired for less heat
- Warmed naan, for serving
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Working in 2 batches, add eggplant and chickpeas and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer cooked eggplant and chickpeas to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (Repeat with remaining eggplant and chickpeas.)
- Transfer eggplant and chickpeas to a large skillet and, off the heat, toss with garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and salt and pepper. Add lemon juice, sugar and 1/4 cup water to pot and place over low heat. Simmer eggplant and chickpeas gently, without tossing, until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- While eggplant simmers, combine cilantro, yogurt, chile and remaining cumin in a blender. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Serve eggplant with yogurt sauce and naan.