SMOKY BAINGAN BHARTA
A mad mash of burnt eggplant , onion , tomato and a few Indian spices, you will probably know it as Baingan ka Bharta , if you are familiar with north Indian food.
The eggplant/brinjal is roasted on the open flame to charr the skin that gives smoky flavour to the dish. The dish is completed by sauting the roasted-mashed eggplant in onion-tomato masala along with spices. This delicious baigan ka bharta is easy to make and I am sure it is going to be a super hit at your home.
It is one of the well loved vegetarian dishes at my home not only by me but kids as well when served with hot ghee-smeared puffed-up rotis.
I have observed that aloo ki sabzi is loved by all kids but baingan ki sabzi is less winsome. So how to include eggplant in everyday meals is a real challenge for moms. Here is a solution to it. The best way to include eggplant in meals is in form of bharta. This is the only way I make my kids eat eggpalnt. Serve it along with raita as it really goes well with bharta and loved is loved by kids too.
In summers when vegetable shops have fresh raw green mango in plenty do sprinkle chopped raw green mango coated with salt and red chili powder over baingan ka bharta before serving as it adds tonnes of flavour to this dish.
How to make best smoky baingan ka bharta ?
Be wise to choose the eggplant or brinjal that is big with dark purple wrinkle-free, shiny skin. Hold it in your hand and pick the one which feels lighter than the other. The heavier one is less fleshy and has more seeds that are ripe and may spoil the taste of bharta.
It is absolutely important not to skimp on charring the eggplant on direct flame/gas. Roasting it over the direct flame gives the real smoky aroma and taste. At home we roast it on direct flame of the stove, if possible roast it over charcoal for authentic smoky flavour.
Another way to make baingan bharta taste awesome is to go heavy on garlic. Add it while roasting the baingan by inserting 2 to 3 garlic cloves in slits made over baingan with a knife. The roasted garlic flavour makes this dish extra flavourful.
Also add the garlic while making the onion tomato masala.
Once the eggplant is charred well with burnt skin from the outside and buttery soft and smoky inside , cool it down and discard the burnt skin. Mash it and keep it aside.
Cook the masala with ginger-garlic , onion, tomato and keep minimal of spices as it is the way it should be.
Add the dry masalas and mashed eggplant to the onion-tomato mixture a saute it on low flame for around 15 minutes. Keep stirring it occasionally. Add coriander leaves and kasuri methi(optional) before switching off the flame.
How do I serve Baingan bharta ?
When baingan bharta is ready , you can serve it with roti, phulka , namak-ajwain paratha. Accompanied by raita and salad makes it simply a satisfying meal. It may sound weird to serve the leftover baingan bharta with toasted bread the next morning for breakfast but believe me it tastes yummy. Try it out once and thank me later.
This baingan bharta recipe is
✔ easy to make
✔ simple yet flavourful
✔ minimalist on spices
✔ loved by vegetarians
✔ my family favourite
Cuisine : Indian
Course : Side dish/Main course
Prep time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 25 minutes
Servings : 3-4
1 Large eggplant/brinjal
2 Large onion sliced or finely chopped
2 Large tomatoes finely chopped
5 to 6 garlic cloves grated
1 Inch ginger grates
1/4 Cup green peas(frozen or fresh)
1 green chili chopped(optional)
1/2 Tsp red chili powder
1/2 Tsp coriander powder
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
1/4 Tsp kasuri methi
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp coriander leaves)
Salt as required
1. Wash the eggplant or aubergine in water. Wipe it with a kitchen towel. Apply some ghee all over and keep it for roasting on an open flame. You could also embed some garlic cloves in the eggplant and then roast it.
2. Charr it well till the skin is burnt from outside and inside is buttery-soft by tuning it all around. Once done remove it from the flame and keep it on a plate for a while to cool down a little.
3. Now peel the skin from the roasted and smoked eggplant with your hands, make sure it is cool enough to handle as inside will be steaming hot.
4. Mash the cooked eggplant with the help of a fork or spatula.
5. Heat oil in a kadai or pan. Then add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chili. Saute for a while.
6. Add sliced onion or you can use finely chopped onion too. Saute the onions till translucent. Don't brown them.
7. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt, saute on a medium flame for around 10 minutes. Add peas along with tomatoes if you are using fresh peas. If you are using frozen peas add it in step 8. Keep stirring in between till the oil starts separating from the mixture. The tomatoes should become mushy, soft and oil should release from the masala.
8. Now add frozen peas, red chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and mix it well.