Berenjenas con Miel is a typically Andaluz dish from around Malaga and Granada. It has saved my life, on more than a few occasions, when eating out here, as it is on most Spanish restaurants’ menus and it’s usually the one and only vegetarian dish, apart from tortilla (no more tortilla, por favor!) on offer.
It is the second in my aubergine season series, the first being an Aubergine & Chickpea Curry, designed to convert even the most stubborn of aubergine haters out there.
The reason it will convert is that it is sliced very thinly, lightly coated in seasoned flour and fried until golden. Then comes the good bit, it is drizzled generously with Miel de Cana. Miel de Cana literally translates as “sugar cane honey” or, as it known elsewhere, molasses.
Miel de cana is produced in the Malaga area and it comes in a glass jar with a beautiful printed label.
It says on the side: “Did you know that…?”
“In the 5th century BC, the Persian king Dario discovered sugar cane on his expedition to the Indus Valley. He described it as a cane that gives honey without the intervention of bees.”
If you see some anywhere, buy it, I’ve heard that they have stopped producing it because all the sugar cane plantations have been destroyed to make way for the new runway and terminal at Malaga airport.
I don’t know whether this is true or not, but it would be a real shame to lose this important local product with such a long history, the company was started in 1929.
Berenjenas Con Miel Recipe
Serves 2-3 sharing as part of a meal. Vegan. From Spanish Food About
- 1 large Aubergine
- 1-2 tsp salt
- black pepper
- about 1oo gr (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 220 ml (1 cup) virgen olive oil
- miel de cana (or molasses/ honey/ maple syrup)
Wash and dry the aubergine, cut off the stalk end and carefully slice into 3 mm thick circles.
Put the slices on a baking tray or large platter and lightly salt each one on both sides. Leave for at least 20 mins up to an hour to draw out the moisture, then pat both sides dry with kitchen roll.
Heat the oil in a med-large frying pan over a medium high heat. Tip the flour onto a large plate and season it with salt and pepper, mix it together with your hands. Put about 4 slices of aubergine in the flour and press down, turn over with tongs and coat the other side.
When the oil is hot (it should sizzle when you put the slices in), lift the slices with tongs, shaking off the excess flour, and place in the oil. Cook for about a minute on one side until golden brown and then turn over with the tongs and do the same on the other side. When cooked on both sides remove to some kitchen roll to drain. Meanwhile put some more slices in the flour and continue until all the aubergine is cooked.
Arrange the slices overlapping in one layer on a large serving dish/platter and drizzle generously with the miel de cana/molasses. Serve immediately with extra miel de cana on the table.
Things That Made Me Smile Today……….
The cactus fruit or prickly pear are called Chumbos here and are everywhere at the moment.
I love their bright acid colours against the burnt earth and the almost cartoon-like shapes of the cactus. It feels very Mexico to me.
They make me smile because every time I see them I think of The Jungle Book and I just can’t get that song out of my head. “Do be do I wanna be like you oo… I wanna walk like you, talk like you, ooo….”