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Baingan Ka Bharta

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Baingan Ka Bharta is just one of the several versions of how eggplant can be used in Indian cooking. The word ‘Bharta’ refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables. This version of Baingan Ka Bharta is also really easy to make.

Traditionally the eggplants are grilled over charcoal or direct fire, which gives the eggplants a beautiful smoky flavour. We don’t use charcoal at home since we use a gas top, so I roast the eggplants straight on the gas top. They may be cooked on the outdoor grill on fire or done in the oven. 

In North India, traditionally, mustard oil is used for cooking this dish. The combination of charcoal grilled eggplant and mustard oil is the most ideal. However, in most parts of India, other cooking oils are preferred.

Serve it with hot rotis or parathas.

1 big eggplant,
1 big onion, finely chopped,
1 big tomato, finely chopped,
½ cup fresh green peas, (I have not used it this time)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste,
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped, (adjust according to taste),
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tbsp oil,
Salt to taste,
Roasting  the eggplants:
If you have a  gas cook top, smear some oil on the each eggplant and place each of them straight on the burner, at medium flame,  allowing the skin to get charred and blackened and turning them so all sides are done. The inside will be soft and mushy.  By just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on low setting.  Watch out when the eggplant seems to “wilt”. It means it is done.
Eggplants may be grilled on the outdoor grill too. Smear oil on the skin and cook by turning the eggplants to cook all sides until the outside is charred and inside is cooked and soft.
To cook in the oven, preheat oven to 400 F. Slice eggplant in halves,  lengthwise and sprinkle some salt on the fleshy side. Smear some oil on both sides and roast flesh side down 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Broil it after it is roasted for about 5 – 7 minutes. This imparts the smoky flavor and also changes the color of the eggplants.
After the eggplants are cooked, place them in a ziploc bag or a bowl with a cover. Let them cool. Peel off and discard the charred skin. Mash or use the food processor to puree the roasted flesh and keep aside.
Cooking the Bharta:
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan. Add the rest of the oil and when its hot, add the cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the onion, ginger garlic paste, and green chillies. Cook at high heat for a couple of minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, the peas – if you are using them, turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and cook for 5 – 7 minutes in medium heat until tomatoes are cooked and the oil separates.
  3. Add the eggplants and stir and toss well. Add salt as per taste. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the mashed eggplants are well combined with the spice mix in the pan.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot

One Comment

  1. Wow.. jusst luv baingan Bartha… i,m drooling here