November 1, 2012

Baingan Bhartha

For those who are following my blog will know that my day-to-day menu is rice-based. But last week, I was on a roti-making spree! With pizzas, theplas & rotis, my week was so vibrant and full of flavors! 

Me & VJ are great roti lovers, yet roti shows up only once in a week or two. Somehow, I always feel that making chapathi/roti takes a longer time compared to rice-based dishes. I can whip up a 3 course rice-based meal in no time where as I will be exerting forever to make rotis especially the rolling out part!!! Could it be the lack of skills or just the way I am tuned during all these years?

Things aside, I made this spicy baingan bhartha using fresh smaller variety of Indian eggplants. It’s a spicy Indian food (semi-gravy) at it’s best and should be served alongside soft rotis to enjoy the full flavor of roasted eggplant goodness. Try it next time and you will not be sorry, I promise!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 30 - 45 mins
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 3

Brinjal - 20 nos (smaller variety) / 2 nos (medium sized, bigger variety)
Green chillies - 2 nos (slit vertically)
Onion - 2 nos (Medium sized, Chopped)
Tomato - 2 nos (Medium sized, Chopped)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Dry methi leaves - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cilantro - 3 tbsp (finely chopped)

Roast eggplants in the oven in 'broil' mode at 500 degrees F for about 10-15 mins until skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh is very soft. Let the eggplants cool completely and then peel off and discard the charred skin. Coarsely mash the flesh with your hands / a masher and keep aside. I got about 1 3/4 cups of mashed eggplant.

Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add ginger, green chillies and sauté for a minute. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Then, add tomato and sauté for couple of minutes until tomatoes turns soft & mushy. Now, add all the powdered spices, including garam masala (I used tandoori masala), stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes or until oil separates from the mixture. Keep an eye so that the spices doesn't stick to bottom of the pan. Sprinkle little water if needed.

Now add the mashed eggplant, chopped cilantro, crushed methi leaves and mix well. Cook for a minute or so and turn off the heat. Serve hot with rotis.

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