Mom calls this Jane’s Eggplant, because it’s one of my favorite things that she makes. When we’re having a family weekend, or she’s feeling especially indulgent, I come home and she tells me I made your eggplant. Yum

By the way, this is messy – it uses lots of bowls and takes time.

Peel two large eggplants. Slice, so that you have circles about 2 cm thick. Spread the slices out on a flat surface (any pan or large plate would do) and lightly salt. Let sit for 10 – 20 minutes, or until eggplant is slightly soggy.

Meanwhile, you will want to prepare two bowls. The first will have flour – either use self-raising flour or mix your own, one cup regular flour plus one teaspoon baking powder. In the second bowl, beat 2 eggs by hand. Prepare a large frying pan too, and heat oil.

Batter the eggplant by dipping first into flour, then egg. Flour first. Fry until light golden, set aside to cool/drain. (This, by the way, is the halfway point. Often when I am home and my mother is making this, not all the eggplant makes it’s way to the finished product, as I stroll by and nonchalantly eat it)

Dice a large white onion and small green pepper. In yet another pan, sauté the onion until glassy, then add the pepper and a touch of salt. When the pepper has slightly browned, add about 5 cups of tomato juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir, cover, simmer over low flame for about 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

Next, layer the eggplant slices and sauce in a baking pan, it should be about three layers. Pour excess sauce on top, eggplant should be covered. Bake at 350 uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until top and edges look slightly crispy.

It’s best to let the dish cool before transferring, and tastes best when served at room temperature.

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