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Eggplant, Cumin, and Black Bean Salad

Vegetables, also Vegetarian Foods

Eggplant, Cumin, and Black Bean Salad
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons salted black beans, rinsed
2 Tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1 Tablespoon thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 cups vegetable oil
1 large eggplant, cut into three-quarter-inch cubes (about one pound)
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into three-quarter-inch pieces
2 scallions, finely shredded
6 to 8 coriander sprigs, cut in one to one-and-a-half inch lengths
1. Put cumin seeds in small fry-pan over high heat, and shake it until they begin to crackle; then immediately remove from the heat and allow them to cool before grinding them in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
2. Mix the ground cumin, black beans, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic stirring until the sugar dissolves. Set this dressing aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok or large pot and when it shimmers, add half the eggplant and cook for two minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the other half of the eggplant. Discard the oil or strain and set aside for another purpose.
4. Put eggplant, tomatoes, scallions, and coriander in a bowl and toss well before setting this out on a serving platter. Pour dressing over this, and serve.

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