A very traditional and old Indian recipe, baigan bharta is an amazing dish. It pairs fantasticly with a lot of Indian food such as daal, rice, chickpeas,red kidney beans I.e. Raajma,black peas, roti, parantha and the list continues. It is either me or the fact that I come from North India,I always relish this with North Indian food and not so much with south indian food. The trick in this recipe is to roast the eggplant (baigan) nicely. Traditionally baigan was roasted on coal fire and that brings out a nice smokey taste. People living in village or country side still do the same.In cities,people use gas stove to get almost the same taste. For most people living abroad modern day ovens are the substitute for roasting eggplant (baigan). Nonetheless the taste is still nice and totally worth eating.
Preparation time: 2 hours
2 large baigan ( eggplant,aubergine)
2 large onion – chopped length wise and bit thick
2 tomatoes – chopped
Fresh coriander – 3-4 tbsp
Vegetable oil – 4-5 tbsp (Traditional cooking uses mustard oil but if you have never tried it before then use vegetable oil)
Zeera (Cumin seeds) : 3 tsp
Dry coriander powder: 4 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1-2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Haldi (turmeric powder): 2 tsp
Salt – 3-4 tsp (adjust to taste)
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Lightly brush the aubergine with oil.Roast in oven at 200 degrees for around 45 min. To check that the aubergine are roasted Pierce the head with a knife.The knife should easily pass through. if I am not in a hurry, I usually switch off the oven and leave the aubergine in the oven for another 2 hours. once roasted peel off the skin with hands.Roughly slice the roasted aubergine into small cubes and keep aside.
Now take 4 tbsp oil in a non stick pan. When the oil is hot add Zeera, Haldi,red chilli powder,dry coriander powder and onions.Fry until onion are brown. Then add tomatoes and fry until the mixture starts to leave sides. At this stage add baigan,salt and garam masala.
Now Fry fry and fry,scrapping off the bottom and until when the baigan reduces to a small quantity and stops sticking to the pan. Finally garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot.