Baingan ka Bharta (Smoky Indian Eggplant)

It all started with a phone call within our close group of friends. We had decided to have a pot luck lunch with only the ladies ‘in’, yea – ‘Ladies special party’. I planned on making chicken 65, a usual party starter, and Manchurian sauce with vegetables (the articles for this I assure will follow).

In the meanwhile, one of my friends (who is in the family way) called me up and asked me if I could make Baingan Ka Bhartha, for the party, as she couldn’t stand the smell of roasting eggplant. How could I ever deny the food cravings of a pregnant lady and the best part of it is I felt special when she confided in me that she had a craving , to taste her favourite dish which her mom makes ‘baingan bhartha’ and so she couldn’t help but ask me to prepare it!

I was ever so glad to make a friend happy. We had a memorable, lovely, fun-filled time.

Baingan Bharta is an easy and tasty Indian dish which is definite to stir up your taste buds. Delicious baingan bharta is ready to eat with pita bread, Indian naan, or rice.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant – 1 large
  • Onion – 2 medium sized
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium sized
  • Ginger – 11/2 tsp, grated
  • Green chilli – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  •  Oil
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tsp, chopped (for the garnish)

Dry masalas

  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  •  Cumin powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala- 1 tsp (whole spice powder)

Optional:

  • Green peas – 1/4 cup(shelled and boiled)
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, grated
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

  • Smear some oil over the eggplant and roast it over an open flame. Keep turning it often and cook till the skin gets charred.
  • Let it cool for a few minutes, then put the eggplant in a ziploc bag and leave it in for about 15 mins. This makes it easier to peel the charred skin or slowly, run it under cold water.
  • Peel the skin from eggplant. With the back of a spoon, mash the eggplant.
  • Heat oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds, when crackle, add onions and fry till pink.
  • Next add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic (optional) and green chillies. When the tomatoes turn soft, add all the dry masalas and salt.
  • Now add the roasted eggplant. Stir and mash well till the eggplant gets nicely mixed into the masala. Add the green peas (optional) and cook the bharta, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 mins till the bharta turns a rich brown colour (not too dark).
  • Garnish with the finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis (it is usually served in North India with just rotis or rotis and dal) or rice.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

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