This is one of those recipes I didn’t eat leave alone try to make for a very long time. Apart from the fact that I avoid multi step cooking like the plague, I am not particularly fond of dishes with too many layers of flavour. Somehow the idea of a smoked charred vegetable double cooked did not appeal much to me. Until I actually ate it one day. You know that feeling when you resist something for the longest time,, only to give in by choice or chance just once, and are then a convert for life? This was one such time.
Like every recipe, there are hundreds of versions of Baingan Ka Bharta, I use this one and it serves me very well.
Baingan Ka Bharta (Serves 3-4)
1 large bharta variety Brinjal
1 Large Onion, chopped finely
2 Tomatoes, chopped finely
2 green chillies (adjust according to taste)
2 big tomatoes peeled and finally chopped
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste
salt to taste
1 teaspoon Whole Cumin Seeds
2 tablespoons oil
Fresh Coriander leaves for the garnish
Wash and pat dry the eggplant/ brinjal and apply a thin film of oil to it. On a medium flame, roast it directly on the gas or place it in a really hot oven (about 200 degrees F for 2 minutes) and char it completely on all sides.
Set aside to cool. Peel off the skin and remove the stalk of the charred eggplant. Chop the flesh roughly. Its like guacamole, you choose to keep it chunky or smooth. I like it in between.
Heat a pan and add the remaining oil to it. When really hot, add the cumin seeds and splutter them. Add the chopped onions and fry for a few minutes till it is beginning to change colour.
Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears (about 1 minute).
Add the dry powdered spices -red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powders and saute for a few seconds.
Add the tomatoes and cover and cook on a medium – low heat till the tomatoes turn mushy.
Add the chopped charred eggplant flesh and stir well. Add salt and taste, adjust the spices. Cook for 2-3 minutes till everything comes together. Add the chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish and remove to a bowl.
Serve hot with hot off the pan phulkas or rotis.