Baingan Bharta

(Smoky and Spicy Mashed Eggplants)

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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins

Serves: 3-4

1 large purple Eggplant
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped (Adjust acc to taste)
½ inch Ginger, finely chopped
4-5 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Roasted Cumin & Coriander Powder
½-1 tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Aamchur/Dry Mango Powder
½ tbsp Oil+ ½ tbsp Ghee or 1 tbsp Oil or Ghee
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Prick the surface of eggplant with knife or fork which will help in even roasting of eggplants. Heat oven or grill and broil or grill the eggplant till its surface is wilted/charred and cooked, about 15-20 mins depending on the type of oven/grill you use. Or you can roast the eggplant on direct flame, on medium heat turning it around, till its surface is charred and the whole egg plant is cooked. This gives a lovely smoky flavour to the egg plant.
Place this grilled eggplant in a large bowl and cover it with a lid or cling film. Let the eggplant cool completely and sweat. Once cooled, peel the charred skin, stem and discard. Mash the cooked eggplant with a potato masher or by hand and keep it aside.
Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it sizzles, add finely chopped garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Now add finely chopped ginger and green chillies and sauté it for another 30 seconds on medium flame. Mix in finely chopped onion and sauté it on medium flame for 1-2 mins till it turns light golden brown in colour.
Now add garam masala, red chilli powder and cumin-coriander powder and sauté it for 30 seconds. Mix in finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on the medium flame till it releases its juice and turns pulpy.
Add mashed eggplant, dry mango powder and salt to taste and combine well. Let it cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the whole mixture becomes little dry. This gives the second layer of smoky flavour to the eggplants.
Serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves and chopped red onion with any Indian flat bread or Rice and enjoy.

To get smoky flavour to the eggplant, place mashed eggplant in a wide plate and place a small steel bowl in a centre. Then place few pieces of burning coal in the bowl and pour 1 tsp of oil or ghee on it. Cover the plate with wide lid and let it rest for 2-3 mins. This is the simplest way to get smoky flavour to your Bharta.
Insert 3-4 small garlic cloves in the eggplant by making small slit and roast it on the oven or on gas fire. The garlic inserted will get roasted along with the eggplant and gives it wonderful aroma and flavour.
Labels: Brinjal(Egg Plant), Currys, Onions, Punjabi Recipes