One Stop Eats

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Baigan Bharta (Eggplant at its best)

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.

Baigan bharta

Baigan bharta

Baigan Bharta

Ingredients to Serve 6

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen green peas, thawed (optional, read on)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced or 1 teaspoon of red pepper powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • Half a teaspoon of garam masala (please limit it to that, any more and it’ll overpower the eggplant)
  • Salt to taste

And couple of my Secret Ingredients that make this super delicious:

  • A tablespoon of Ghee
  • A pinch of sugar

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.

Notes:

  1. When picking eggplants pick the ones that are not too heavy. The heavy ones are seedy! …. i.e., they have too many seeds.
  2. Ghee enhances the flavor of roasted eggplants, adds a lovely aroma and makes the dish healthier. Ghee is actually very good for you, but that’s another post. You could use vegetable oil, but if you try it with ghee once you will never give it up.
  3. That pinch of sugar enhances the taste of all the spices along with the eggplant. Do not add any more than a pinch.
  4. Green peas are invited to this party purely for their color, therefore are completely optional.
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3 comments on “Baigan Bharta (Eggplant at its best)

  1. budgetveggie
    March 16, 2009

    This sounds absolutely heavenly! I’ve bookmarked it and will definitely be trying it out the next time I buy an aubergine.

    • Meenakshi Matai
      March 26, 2009

      Thanks! Please come back and tell us how it came out.

  2. JK
    November 5, 2009

    I love this stuff!! I am not a fan of eggplant, but ended up with one in my vegetable basket from the co-op. So…I knew I would find a way to turn it into a tasty treat here. I cut the recipe down a bit, as I only had 1, and left out a couple things that I wasn’t familiar with. I had it on slices of polenta, and it was quite tasty!! Thanks, my friend!! šŸ™‚

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2009 by in Cuisine, Indian, Main Course, Recipes, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , .

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