BAINGAN BHARTA (Roasted Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal)
Firstly happy Valentine’s Day friends. Hope you get spoilt and pampered. Speaking about pampered – don’t you feel special when someone spends some time to cook you something different and tasty. Well have we got just the idea for you to make someone feel really loved or maybe it’s just you who needs the pampering.
I am sure you have all had the pleasure of tasting Baba Ganoush, as a dip at some stage. In Arabic it literally means “pampered papa”. The more I look at recipes of the world the more I find similarities. In India we have Baingan Bharta which uses the same technique to roast the eggplant. The main difference is that we use it as a main served with rotis. You can choose to use it as a dip or a sandwich spread – whichever way it’s yummy.
Firstly put on your favourite music as roasting this eggplant will have you standing over an open flame for 10 minutes at a minimum. If you decide to double the batch then it could be longer – I am sure you don’t mind as this is a labour of love right? This will make 2 serves as a main or 4 if accompanying a protein main.
What you need:
- Long skewer or a pair of tongs
- Gas flame
- Plastic bag
- Olive /vegetable oil
- 1 large eggplant/aubergine/brinjal
- The Holy Trinity of Indian cooking – 1 onion, 1 fat clove of garlic, 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 green chilli if you like some zing
- 1 heaped teaspoon Korma spice
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- ½ lemon
- ½ cup green peas (optional – I use it for colour and texture)
- Skewer an eggplant or simply use a pair of tongs.
- Set your gas flame on medium and keep turning the eggplant so it gets roasted evenly. This should take about 10 minutes. I usually set my timer on for 12 minutes so between the bopping and roasting I don’t forget to turn off the stove. You should have a blistered eggplant. If using the stovetop isn't your cup of tea, slice the eggplant in half, along the longer side, baste the open side with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and then slowly roast them in your oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Now put the roasted eggplant into the plastic bag and pull out the skewer. Close the bag and set aside
- Place your pan on the stove to heat up.
- Chop the onion
- Add a generous amount of olive/vegetable oil to the pan along with the chopped onion
- When the onion is translucent, add 2 chopped tomatoes, the grated garlic, ginger and the teaspoon of Korma spice
- Open the bag and peel the charred skin off the eggplant
- Place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher
- Add the mashed eggplant to the softened tomatoes along with ½ cup green peas.
- Mix, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
- Turn off the stove, season with salt to taste – about 1 teaspoon and the juice of ½ a lemon
- Empty into a bowl and garnish with 2 stalks of freshly chopped coriander.
- Serve with roti or pitta bread and enjoy the love and time spent on this beautiful, smokey creation.
Baking or charring the eggplant/aubergine/brinjal produces a subtle smoky flavour that defines this dish.