Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad

by Kiran on October 1, 2013 · 96 comments

in Grilling, Salads, Vegetarian

What’s this? Where’s the pear? Or pumpkin? Why is there grilled tiny eggplants instead? Though I can’t ignore the fact that summer is history (for now) and autumn is upon us, grilled veggie salads is what we are craving.

Big time.

Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad | KiranTarun.com

Grilled salads aside, I’ll let you in on something that happened more than 30,000 feet above, between the clouds. I love journaling on flights. It’s one of many ways that keeps me occupied in long flights. Though I travel with a laptop most of the time, there’s nothing like jotting down thoughts with a pen on a notepad.

Well, not until yesterday.

Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad | KiranTarun.com

We went through a huge turbulence and the plane shook quite violently. This all happened in the midst of me pouring my heart out over the notepad and then with a huge shake, my pen flew in the air and landed on a person seated in the same row — that appears to have been in a beauty sleep.

The horrible turbulence did not do a thing to wake him up, but my pen did. And boy, was he mad :D

Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad | KiranTarun.com

After promptly apologizing, I went back to my almost usual self. This time, turbulence was the last thing on my mind, after what had just occurred.

How embarassing! Time to face-plant into a huge grilled eggplant couscous salad.

Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad | KiranTarun.com

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 16 tiny eggplants, halved
  • some oil for grilling
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups cooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olives, pitted and halved

Dressing:

  • 1 whole grilled lemon, juiced
  • 1 large garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/8 cup roasted walnut oil (or any oil of choice)

Garnish with 2 tbsp dukkah

Directions:

  1. Brush grill with some oil and preheat it over medium-high.
  2. In a bowl, add halved eggplants, sliced carrots and halved lemons. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, black pepper and 1 tbsp of oil. Stir to evenly coat.
  3. Once grill is hot, add eggplants, carrots and lemons. Grilled on each sides for 2 minutes or until charred.
  4. Remove grilled veggies into a huge salad bowl, fitch out grilled lemon halves and cover bowl with a foil.
  5. Prepare the dressing by combining all ingredients into a jar. Put the lid on and shake to emulsify. Drizzle the dressing over grilled veggies. Cover bowl with a foil.
  6. Add warm cooked couscous, chopped parsley, fresh mint and olives into the salad bowl. Stir everything to combine. Add a sprinkling of dukkah just before serving!

 

Grilled Eggplant Couscous Salad | KiranTarun.com

Ok, do me a favor. Set the pumpkin down, switch the grill back on and have fun. I promise you there won’t be anyone policing or lecturing you about autumn.

Any embarrassing encounters 30,000 feet up in between clouds?

 

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{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Run DMT October 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Such a gorgeous presentation! I agree. It’s far too soon to turn the grill off. I loved grilled veggies!

No embarrassing encounters at 30,00 feet here! lol
Run DMT recently posted..Music Monday: Roar

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2 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Run DMT — thank you so much!

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3 ashley - baker by nature October 1, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I will happily take this gorgeous salad over pumpkin and pears!!! A true beauty!
ashley – baker by nature recently posted..Greek Salad Chickpea Tacos

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4 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Ashley — you sure?! think again ;)

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5 Rosa October 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Scrumptious! That luxurious couscous salad looks amazing. That is one great combination.

Cheers,

Rosa

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6 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Rosa — thank you so much, my sweet friend :)

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7 Sophie33 October 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM

MMMMM,What a truly appetizing couscous aubergine salad!

Your salad looks colourful & even fantastic too.
Sophie33 recently posted..Vegan gingery mixed berry crumble!

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8 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Sophie — thanks a lot!!

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9 shama October 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM

delicious recipe…interesting

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10 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Shama — thank you so much :)

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11 Maria | Pink Patisserie October 1, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Good gracious is this lovely! I’ve decided to avoid pumpkin recipes for awhile too. I love it, but sometimes it’s too much of a good thing. Beautiful as usual Kiran!
Maria | Pink Patisserie recently posted..Salted Caramel Apple Cider Doughnuts

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12 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Maria — thanks, friend! glad i’m not the only one with an opinion about pumpkin, but sincerely having trouble resisting it ;)

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13 honeywhatscooking October 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM

this is gorgeous Kiran, such a huge fan of quinoa. I love brinjals (the little eggplants). I never grilled them the way you did, usually just pressure cook them or saute them. I’ll have to start grilling man.
Hmmm…embarrassing moments 30K above, not quite, but I hate violent turbulence, I cringe when that happens over an ocean.
honeywhatscooking recently posted..Pumpkin Cake Bars w/Cream Cheese Frosting… reduced-fat

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14 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Nisha — thanks dear. this was made with couscous ;)

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15 Ash-foodfashionparty October 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I could enjoy this plateful in the mid of winter too, it’s that lovely. Grilled veggies anytime.

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16 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Ash — awww, thanks so much!

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17 Laura (Tutti Dolci) October 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Bring on the grilled salad! Love that last shot especially :).

My only story is that during college, I went to Australia for 6 weeks with a group of 25 students. I met most of them the day before we flew out, so essentially they were still strangers to me at that point. I must have dozed off at one point and woke to find one of the guys asleep on my shoulder! Talk about getting to know your neighbor ;).
Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted..apple crumble bars

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18 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Laura — thank you, friend!

oh my, i could imagine the embarrassment ;)

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19 Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ October 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

ahaha I’m so curious to know where exactly your pen landed to! :)
Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ recently posted..Whole Wheat and Quinoa Flour Pizza Dough

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20 Kiran October 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Daniela — haha! it all happened in a blink! by the time I realized and looked towards him, he held the pen with an annoying look on the face :D

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21 Kari@Loaves n Dishes October 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Kiran, there is nothing embarrassing about this yummy salad, and the tiny eggplants are darned cute!
Kari@Loaves n Dishes recently posted..CREOLE SHRIMP & GREENS with CREAMY BLACK PEPPER GRITS

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22 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

Kari — thanks but the embarrassment isn’t for this salad ;)

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23 Archana @ FeedingThefoodie October 1, 2013 at 3:32 PM

cold weather is perfect for indoor grilling – it warms up the place!
I’ve been a little eggplant obsessed this year. Great idea to add to a couscous salad.
Those pics are so gorgeous!
I’ve flown in one of those propeller planes and there was turbulence the whole way – felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride from NY to Cincinnati! When I got off the plane, I made a beeline for the ladies room and threw up! ick!
Archana @ FeedingThefoodie recently posted..Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

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24 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Archana — thank you so much! wow, that must have been a terrible plain ride :(

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25 dixya| food, pleasure, and health October 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM

how funny – I have not had any encounters yet but I think I may have just jinxed myself..lovely grilled veggies there. As much as I am trying to enjoy pumpkin brownies, I did grill some zucchinis last night :)
dixya| food, pleasure, and health recently posted..Vegan Pumpkin Brownies {with Barley Flour and Jaggery}

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26 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:29 AM

Dixya — i’m a jinxer myself, so don’t worry much about it :)

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27 Kelly October 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

What a gorgeous looking salad Kiran especially the mini grilled eggplants! Love that last photo, soo mouthwatering!

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28 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:40 AM

Kelly — awww, thanks so much friend :)

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29 Kitchen Belleicious October 1, 2013 at 10:56 PM

eggplant goes so well with quinoa and couscous. I love that you made this into a salad it being so light and all. Delicious
Kitchen Belleicious recently posted..Baked Zucchini Pub Fritters

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30 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Jessica — thank you so much, my dear :)

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31 Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style October 1, 2013 at 11:51 PM

What a marvelous fall salad, Kiran!
Viviane Bauquet Farre – Food and Style recently posted..Grilled cheese sandwiches with wilted spinach and Emmental

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32 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:46 AM

Viviane — thank you so much!

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33 Tandy | Lavender and Lime October 1, 2013 at 11:58 PM

I’m really amazed someone could get mad over that! My experience was at ground level when I shot a crab claw across a restaurant and it landed on someone’s plate! Lovely recipe :)
Tandy | Lavender and Lime recently posted..In My Kitchen October 2013

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34 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Tandy — haha! i could imagine the whole scenario :)

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35 Gintare @Gourmantine October 2, 2013 at 5:16 AM

I’m also still in deny if Autumn and sticking to salads of all sorts. Anyhow, don’t think I have had any such situations like yours on flights yet, but I have been on one, where I nearly started praying, because the turbulence was literally swinging the plane to all sides…
Gintare @Gourmantine recently posted..Summer memories with scent of Provence

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36 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:49 AM

Gintare — turbulence can be so bad! sigh. just thinking about it, scares me!

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37 Lisa H. October 2, 2013 at 5:20 AM

Love your photos…delicious :)

Plane, air turbulence yikes!!
Lisa H. recently posted..Glutinous Rice with Dark Brown Sugar Syrup/ Kuih Lopis

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38 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Lisa — thank you! yes, turbulence can be so scary :D

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39 Coffee and Crumpets October 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I guess it depends where you live that decides what you are craving. Florida is probably still quite warm and so salads are perfect still. Autumn is most definitely here in Colorado and we’re not craving salads so much on a cold night, a bowl of pear crumble and steaming hot custard maybe :)
Having said that, your salad is gorgeous and I can eat eggplant in and out of season, and grilled with couscous, my favourite combo!

Nazneen
Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Raspberry Poached Pear Pavlova

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40 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:00 AM

Nazneen — ditto about location! stay warm :)

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41 Barbara | Creative Culinary October 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Love this salad…I’ve seen those adorable baby eggplants at the market but hesitated…I shouldn’t have; now want to try this bad!
Barbara | Creative Culinary recently posted..Football, Game Day Favorites and a Hatch Green Chile Relleno Casserole

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42 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Barb — thanks! and there’s always another time :)

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43 Shibi Thomas @FlavzCorner October 2, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Lovely salad and the dressing sounds perfect for couscous salad.
Shibi Thomas @FlavzCorner recently posted..Mixed Greens And Lentil Stir Fry/ Swiss Chard, Collard Greens & Thuvar Daal Stir Fry (Thoran)

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44 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Shibi — thank you so much!

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45 Nami | Just One Cookbook October 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

LOL! I’d pretend it’s not my pen and pretend sleeping. Just kidding! Ohhh bad turbulence makes me sweat sometimes. Good thing your laptop didn’t fly out. Love eggplants and am very happy to see a new eggplant recipe! Your salad looks gorgeous!
Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Green Tea Donuts 抹茶ドーナツ

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46 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Nami — let’s just say it was too late for me to pretend ;)

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47 Angie@Angie's Recipes October 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

What a beautiful and mouthwatering couscous salad!
Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Quinoa Radicchio Wraps with Chia Seed Vinaigrette

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48 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Angie — thank you so much!!

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49 Davida @ The Healthy Maven October 2, 2013 at 5:20 PM

So far so good on embarassing plane moments but I’ll keep you posted! I’m all about the roasted veggie salads come winter. This will be a great salad to add to the rotation :)
Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted..Pumpkin Spice Plantain Chips

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50 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:06 AM

Davida — haha! do keep me posted ;)

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51 CCU October 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM

The veges look so utterly delicious, I love grilled anything :)
And with couscous? Perfect!

Cheers
CCU
CCU recently posted..Happy 2nd Blogiversary!

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52 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:07 AM

CCU — thank you so much, sweetie :)

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53 john@kitchenriffs October 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Oh, we still grill! And when we lived in Florida, I always thought prime grilling season was October through early May – too hot in the summer! Anyway, great looking dish. Love the third picture – super light on that.
john@kitchenriffs recently posted..Pisco Sour Cocktail

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54 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:08 AM

John — i’m with you! can’t stand hot Florida summer grilling :)

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55 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies October 2, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Yikes, embarrassing! I’m going to have to see if the farmers market still has those cute little eggplants this weekend because I would LOVE to make this salad!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..50 Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes

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56 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:10 AM

Kiersten — haha! and yes, please let me know how it tastes if and when you get a chance to make this salad :)

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57 Juliana October 3, 2013 at 12:06 AM

We still using the grill and a lot…grilled veggies are the best way to enjoy them, and your couscous with grilled eggplant looks fabulous Kiran…great meal.
Hope you are enjoying your week :D
Juliana recently posted..Georgia Pecan Brownie

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58 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Juliana — thank you so much, friend. grilling is best this time of the year :)

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59 Mallika October 3, 2013 at 2:14 AM

The pen flying in air made me laugh! I can imagine the embarrassment! :P

I am head over heels with these beautiful clicks. They are stunning! You should soon do a post on food styling. It will gear a lot of recognition, I am sure!
Mallika recently posted..Honey Loops & Nuts Chikki

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60 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Mallika — haha! at least, there’s humor in some embarrassment ;)

thank you so much for the encouragements. i’m trying to pen my food styling thoughts, that’s all rammed up in my brain. hopefully i’ll get to publish it soon!

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61 cquek October 3, 2013 at 4:05 AM

Oh my goodness, I’ll take a double portion please!

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62 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:15 AM

Cquek — haha! i’ll happily oblige :D

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63 simi October 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I want this ! I just love your photography.
simi recently posted..Ginger Caramel Tiramisu

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64 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:16 AM

Simi — aww, thanks so much! wish i could teleport this to you :)

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65 Nusrat Azim October 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM

If your pictures are not magic, then I don’t know what is.
Thank you for making my day with this dreamy, adorable post. Appreciate how much effort, care, love and thoughts you put creating those versatile pictures. Color, composition, light, angle, content…sheer magic!
You’re a magic yourself, my lovely :)
Nusrat Azim recently posted..Mango Chutney

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66 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:24 AM

Nusrat — awww, thanks so much sweetie :)

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67 Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence October 3, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Beautiful! Those little baby eggplants are adorable :) And i love the idea of the grilled lemon juice in a vinaigrette.
Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence recently posted..Candy Bourbon Milkshake

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68 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 1:24 AM

Brandon — thanks friend. grilled lemons are simply delectable!

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69 Marly October 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Oh, how embarrassing! But kind of funny too, don’t you think? I love journaling on flights too – there’s nothing like the feel of a pen in hand…hopefully it stays there for your next flight! ;-)
Marly recently posted..Frosted Mocha Banana Cookies

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70 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 2:52 AM

Marly — haha, funny yes!

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71 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Hehe always embarrassing situations for me on a plane. And you couldn’t help it that your pen went awol for a bit! What did they say?
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted..Halifax, Nova Scotia

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72 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Lorraine — haha! we always encounter something or the other, whenever in flight. makes the journey even more interesting ;)

He didn’t say anything. His furious face said it all! LOL!

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73 Amrita @ Asian SlowCooking October 3, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Couscous salad is my favourite and this combination looks amazing!
Amrita @ Asian SlowCooking recently posted..Slow cooker Butter Chicken

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74 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:02 AM

Amrita — thanks and I’m glad this couscous is your fav salad :)

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75 Monet October 3, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I’m about to go on my first plane trip with Lucy. Yikes! I’ll let you know how it goes :) And this salad? Just divine. Thank you for sharing it. I wish I had some eggplant at the house now Would be making these for dinner!
Monet recently posted..Very Hungry Caterpillar

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76 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:05 AM

Monet — good luck! i’m sure Lucy would be a doll during the entire experience. i can’t promise for others ;)

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77 Gayathri October 3, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Lovely combo…Salad looks inviting and delicious…
Gayathri recently posted..SAVORY SEMOLINA CAKE RECIPE | EGGLESS CAKE | INDIAN SNACK CAKE

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78 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:10 AM

Gayathri — thank you so much!

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79 Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl October 3, 2013 at 8:51 PM

My dad is a huge eggplant fan so I’m always looking for recipes to send to him. Consider this shared! :)

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80 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:11 AM

Pamela — oh, thank you so much! i hope he’ll enjoy it :)

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81 Kumar's Kitchen October 4, 2013 at 6:51 AM

wow….got hooked to those amazing food clicks…such a riot of colors and flavors in this amazing salad…hats off to your culinary creativity Kiran,we always get a lot to learn :-)
Kumar’s Kitchen recently posted..Sizzling Spiced Potato Patties With Lip Smacking Mint Chutney

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82 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:12 AM

Kumar — thank you so much for the kind words :)

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83 Ashley October 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Oh gosh, I HATE turbulence! I’m the crazy person who grabs my seat every time we hit any! haha I love couscous salads – and this sounds delicious especially with that dressing!
Ashley recently posted..Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup

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84 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:13 AM

Ashley — oh, i’d grab the seat tightly too. but this time, i was rather preoccupied ;)

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85 Anne ~ Uni Homemaker October 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Those eggplants look adorable! And the dish looks even better Kiran. Gorgeous photos as always! :)
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted..Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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86 Kiran October 5, 2013 at 3:15 AM

Anne — thank you so much, friend :)

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87 Mr. & Mrs. P October 6, 2013 at 7:56 PM

yummo!!! Love the last shot… delicious
Mr. & Mrs. P recently posted..Fall Decorating Ideas

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88 Kiran October 10, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Christy — thank you so much!

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89 Sissi October 7, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Gorgeous salad for this end of eggplant season! I suppose the pen was better than hot coffee ;-) Somehow every time I experience turbulence on a plane, I’m in the middle of a cup of coffee…
Sissi recently posted..Pickled Chilli Peppers

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90 Kiran October 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Sissi — in this situation, pen is always better than coffee! can’t imagine the embarrassment beyond this ;)

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91 Cass @foodmyfriend October 7, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Hehe oh well Kiran. At least you apologised. Too many angry people on flights! I love this salad. And that big gulp of olive oil in the last shot. Amazing.
Cass @foodmyfriend recently posted..Oven Express Review + One Very Happy Girl!

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92 Kiran October 10, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Cass — haha! thank you, friend :)

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93 Asha@FSK October 12, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Love the recipe! I love these Asian/Indian eggplants. They are so much more flavorful than the aubergines :)
Asha@FSK recently posted..Cracking up with humpty dumpty

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94 RecipeTreasure October 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Those little baby eggplants look beautiful!! Love your photos! Thanks for sharing!
RecipeTreasure recently posted..Spicy Penne with Broccoli and Garlic

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95 Charul @ Tadka Masala October 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

The first time I was flying I went on a crazy picture clicking spree. Thank God, the seat was a window seat. But after about 30 pics, the person on the next seat gave a dry smile and asked – “first time?” Oopsie! And no, you don’t get to ask if I stopped after that! :P
Charul @ Tadka Masala recently posted..Double celebrations with Double ka Meetha – Hyderabadi Bread Pudding | Diwali Dessert Recipes

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