Sunday 10 July 2016

Baingan Bharta or Roasted Eggplant Curry

Traditionally eggplant or brinjal is either cut or roasted on direct fire and then cooked with necessary ingredients to make the desired recipe. In typical Brahmin cooking roasted eggplant is used to make kothsu (கொத்சு) or thuvayal (துவையல்). Roasting eggplants on direct fire imparts a unique flavor to the recipe. Baingan bharta is a north Indian curry recipe that goes well with chapattis. Large purple eggplants (Figure 1) are used to make this curry. Last week when I found fresh eggplants in the vegetable shop, I decided to make baingan bharta. For a typical south Indian household, this curry makes a refreshing change. Just give it a try.

Fig.1: Large purple eggplants

Large eggplants – 2 no
Tomatoes – 2 no, cut into small cubes
Onion -2 no, finely chopped
Green chili – 2 no, finely chopped
Ginger – ½” piece, grated
Kashmiri chili powder – 1-2 teaspoons (adjust to taste)
Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Kitchen king garam masala – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Gingelly oil – 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon

Method: Wash and dry the eggplants. Smear gingelly oil on the surface of the vegetable. Roast the eggplants on direct fire as shown in Figure 2.

Fig.2: Eggplants being roasted on direct fire
Turn the vegetable around and roast on all sides till the skin turns black and eggplants become soft. Remove from fire and allow them to cool (Figure 3). Late peel the skin, remove the stalk and mash the eggplants into a smooth pulp. Keep aside.

Fig.3: Roasted eggplants
Heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds. When the crackle, add chopped onions and sauté till they turn light brown in color. Then add tomatoes, green chilies and ginger. Mix well; cover and cook on low flame till tomatoes become soft and pulpy. Now add the mashed eggplant, turmeric powder, coriander power, cumin powder, Kashmiri chili powder and salt. Blend well, cover and simmer for 5 minutes till oil separates. Finally add garam masala and mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes and remove from fire. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapattis, salad and raita.

Baingan Bharta or Roasted Eggplant Curry
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