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Ok, fine, Baigan Bharta does not literally translate to “Eggplant at its best”. It translates to “Eggplant Mash”, but that’s a boring translation. Besides, it really is its best form to be devoured in, and definitely a healthy form too.
Baigan Bharta gets its characteristic taste from the smoky, roasted eggplants. So, don’t try and skip the roasting if you want that authentic dhaba taste. It can be enjoyed with warm rotis, pita bread or with crackers, even, like a dip.
Ingredients to Serve 6
And couple of my Secret Ingredients that make this super delicious:
Roast the eggplants on an open flame. I must warn you that this is going to make a mess on your stove, so look forward to some cleaning up after. If you want to avoid the cleaning and/or don’t have a gas stove, you can broil the eggplants in your oven by placing them on a sheet pan right under the broiler. Either ways, make sure you turn them every 2-3 minutes.
The eggplants are done when the skin is blackened and is flaky. The whole process should take 10-15 minutes.
Let them cool for a bit and peel the skin. It will come right off.
Now mash the eggplants with a fork and set aside.
Place a skillet on your (by now pretty dirty) stove and set the heat to medium.
Add the ghee. Let it warm up and add the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Cook this until the onions are translucent. Now add the turmeric powder and red chilli powder (if using) and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Now add the coriander powder and give it a quick stir.
Add the chopped tomatoes and stir everything together. Let this cook for 6-7 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened.
Add the mashed eggplant and stir. Cook this for 3-4 minutes.
Now we add the rest of the ingredients, i.e. garam masala, sugar, salt and peas.
Stir this almost done bharta and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy with warm rotis.