Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mashed eggplant (Baigan ka bharta)

Baigan ka bharta is a North Indian delicacy, very popular amongst Indian vegetarian foodies. It is easy to make and tastes great, specially if you are an eggplant fan. Some people refer to bharta as Chokha which simply means mashed. Baigan ka bharta is eaten with Indian bread or Paratha which I will show you how to make in another post. Ingredients:
3 eggplants
2 small onion, chopped
1 medium sized tomato, chopped
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
garam masala 1 teaspoon
paprika or red chili powder, 1 teaspoon
2 tbspn olive oil (use mustad oil for more flavour)
butter block
coriander leaves, chopped for garnishing.
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon minced ginger and garlic
1 small cup peas (optional)

Servers 4-6
Preparation time 2 hours.

1. Rub the block of butter on the washed eggplants on all sides such that the skin is all covered and greasy. This will help us remove the skin when the eggplant is baked.
2. Bake eggplant uncovered in an oven at 400 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes or until the skin becomes soft and a knife can easily pierce through it
3. Cool eggplant and remove the skin
4. Mash eggplant and set aside
5. In a pan, heat olive oil and add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add cumin seeds and within seconds they will turn dark brown
4. Add onion, garlic, and ginger
5. When the onion, garlic, and ginger soften and change color, add tomato.
6. Cook until tomato softens
7. Add the eggplant, peas
8. Add red chili powder, salt, garam masala and cook for 15-20 mins
8. Add coriander leaves and lemon juice.
9. Cook for another 5-10 minutes

Serve hot with naan or paranthas.

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