Baigan Bharta or Roasted Eggplant

Eggplant is my favorite vegetable. I think it’s a family thing, everyone in my family is a big eggplant fan specially my Dad!

Give this veggie to me in any form and I’ll eat it up – stuffed, grilled, baked, roasted – it’s delicious in every avatar! However, my most favorite eggplant dish is Baigan Bharta.

I have had various versions of this dish, but this version wins hands down (sans all the spices like coriander powder, garam masala etc.), it truly brings out the sweet creamy texture of the eggplant.

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Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant, preferably one that doesn’t have a lot of seeds
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp oil
Chopped cilantro for garnishing
Salt as required

Recipe:

Cook the Eggplant:

  • Make 6-7 1 inch slits on the surface of the Eggplant and stuff garlic cloves in these slits.
  • Now rub a little oil on the skin of the Eggplant and transfer it into an oven-proof dish.
  • Put the oven in broil (High) mode, once ready cook the Eggplant for about 20 minutes.
  • Do a knife test to check if it’s done, the knife should slide through the skin without any resistance. Once done, take the Eggplant out and let it cool down a little and then peel off the skin (it will come off very easily). Save the garlic cloves that we stuffed into the eggplant earlier, they add a nice flavor to the dish.
  • Now mash the cooked eggplant(along with the garlic).

Make the Gravy:

  • In a pan, heat oil.
  • First add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add red chili, crushed ginger-garlic and cook for a minute or till the raw smell is gone.
  • Add onions and saute till they are translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and green chilies and saute till the oil starts separating from the mixture.
  • Now add turmeric powder and red chili powder, saute for another minute.

Putting it all together:

  • Now add mashed eggplant and mix it well with onion-tomato mixture.
  • Season with salt. Stir and saute for some 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve Baingan Bharta with phulkas, rotis or chapatis (Indian bread). It goes well even with toasted bread.

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