Caponata and Herb Polenta

Spiced Caponata on cilantro flavored polenta, drizzled with coriander chutney.

Paprika flavoured Semolina polenta


  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup semolina or pasta flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Paprika to taste


Cook milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 6 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil). Stir in semolina. Cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes or just until semolina begins to set. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste.




  • 500 gm small Italian eggplants
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 gm chopped onion
  • 25 gm celery ribs, cut crosswise into very thin
  • 30 gm large green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm Italian capers packed in salt, rinsed well
  • 15 gm sugar, or to taste
  • 25 ml white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp jalapenos diced
  • 60 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 sprig of basil


  1. Peel eggplants, leaving some strips of peel, then cut into 1-inch cubes and spread on half of a kitchen towel. Sprinkle eggplant with salt then cover with other half of towel and weight with a baking sheet topped with 2 or 3 large cans for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, stirring, until pale golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add celery and cook, stirring, until onion and celery are deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add olives, capers, and 2 tablespoons sugar and cook, stirring, 2 minutes, then stir in vinegar and tomatoes.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. If sauce is very acidic, add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (to taste). Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered.
  4. Rinse eggplant in a colander under running water, then squeeze dry in small handfuls.
  5. Heat remaining cup oil in cleaned skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then fry eggplant in 2 batches, turning occasionally with tongs, until tender and browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer as cooked to paper towels to drain, transfer to a large shallow serving dish in an even layer. Spoon sauce on top, stir before serving.


Corriander chutney.


Coriander leaves with stem (washed and drained): 50 gm

Garlic: 2 cloves

Lemon juice: 1 tsp

Yoghurt: 1 tbsp

Salt: as required


  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender and season to a smooth consistency.


Vinod Radhakrishnan

A food production professional for the last 20 years, graduating in hotel management from India, he subsequently obtained a Masters in Hospitality Management from Wales Bridge University, USA. Has been associated with some of the finest international hotel chains such as Hyatt, Intercontinental (Six Continents Club) etc. and various fine dining outlets in the GCC and the Middle East. Has also been part of pre-opening properties (hotel & restaurants) in these regions namely Oman, Qatar & Bahrain. A culinary trainer for the last 10 yrs. working in culinary schools in India and the UAE, he has been with ICCA since 2006 and has been instrumental in developing its training curriculum. A certified food safety ​ ​trainer​, certified instructor from American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) as well.

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