3 medium-sized eggplants
7 tbsp olive oil (or as much as you need)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F
1. Cut the stems off the eggplants. Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, peel the skin in 1/2 inch wide strips vertically down each eggplant so you get a striped effect. Slice each eggplant horizontally into 1/2 inch slices.
2. Place eggplants in a colander and salt each slice. Let stand 30 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Brush a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with oil and place in a single layer on the baking sheet.
4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the slices are light golden brown on both sides.
5. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and, using a fork or potato masher, mash with the garlic, paprika, cumin, water and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the mashed eggplant and fry very slowly, turning occasionally and until the moisture evaporates. Stir in the lemon juice and cook 1 minute longer.
7. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
8. Place the eggplant on a platter and garnish with parsley and lemon or tomato wedges with pita wedges or country bread. Serve warm or at room temperature.