Baingan Bharta – Roasted and Mashed Eggplant Curry
Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable. Eggplant is called ‘brinjal’ in India and ‘Kathirikai’ in tamil. I like eggplant in any form! Actually its like our family’ favorite vegetable. Be it a simple fry, gutti vankaya, aloo baingan, podi pota kari, kootu, ennai kathirikai, kara kozhambu, baingan ka bharta and anything else eggplantarian!!
Baingan ka bharta is a north Indian dish that is made using roast eggplants, tomato and some spices. Roasting over direct fire gives the eggplant a smoky flavor which is out of this world. Actually there are quite a lot of dishes that can be made using roast eggplants. I will post them all sometime!
Bharta was always my favorite, more so because my mother rarely made this at home. My best friend at school Neha was a north Indian. She used to get amazing parathas and sabji in her lunch box. Mine used be the same boring south Indian dishes (I used to think of them as boring then, but now south Indian is my ultimate comfort food). She loved anything my mother made. So obviously, we always used to exchange our dabbas. I used to love the baingan ka bharta and bharwan karela she used to get. I think that is where my love for bharta blossomed. I make this at home regularly as my husband also loves eggplant. Here’s how you make it. A really simple curry!!
Eggpalnt/Brinjal – 1 Big
Onion – 1 large
Tomato – 3 large or 3 tbsp tomato paste
Oil – 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp (adjust according to your spice level)
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Cumin powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala/Kitchen King masala – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp (you can use fresh ginger and garlic too. chopped finely)
Green chillies – 2 (slit lengthwise – optional)
Cilantro/Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Peas – 1/2 cup (optional, I did not use peas)
- Wash the eggplant and wipe it with a towel. Heat the oven to 400 F. Rub 1 tsp of oil all over the eggplant and keep on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour. Make some slits on the skin and set aside to cool.
- Heat oil in a skillet and add cumin seeds. Fry until aromatic(abt 30 secs). Add the onions and a little salt. Saute for 3 mins. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for another 3 mins. Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin to the the skillet. Cook for 2 mins. Be careful not to burn the spices.
- Add the tomatoes/tomato paste and cook until the oil separates from the gravy, about 8-10 mins.
- Meanwhile, peel the eggplant, and do not waste away the flesh stuck to the peel. Get everything out! You can just chop the eggplant into small chunks or just drop everything in a blender and make a puree (you could make the puree chunky if you like).
- Add the eggplant puree to the skillet and mix very well. Adjust salt, add garam masala and cook on medium heat for 8-10 mins or until you get the desired consistency.
- Garnish with cilantro. Your whole house will smell divine!!!