Baingan Bharta/Smoked Aubergine, The Indian Way
I think age is catching up on me because I often find myself checking my own blog to see whether I have posted a particular recipe! As was the case with today’s one and I cannot believe that having been blogging for nearly a year now, I have not written about one of my favourite Indian vegetable preparations.
baingan bharta is an ode to all aubergine lovers, or so I like to think
Smoked aubergine cooked with onions, tomato and garlic for a velvety, delicious vegetable which can be scooped with any type of bread or equally divine on some plain boiled rice – what is there not to like?!
Earlier, I used to smoke the aubergine directly on a gas burner as is. But I have recently discovered that if you oil it a bit, it truly imparts that smokey aroma and flavour. If you don’t have a gas burner, you can try it on a grill although I can’t vouch for the end result in terms of smokiness.
When choosing an aubergine for baingan bharta, go for one which doesn’t weigh too much (irrespective of size). The heavy ones have more seeds in them.
1 Medium size aubergine
1 Head of garlic
2-3 Fresh green chilli
Fresh ginger the size of your thumb
1/2 Cup fresh coriander
1-2 Teaspoons cumin seeds
1 Teaspoon turmeric
1 Teaspoon chilli powder
1 Teaspoon garam masala
1 Tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
- Wash the aubergine and apply a bit of oil all over.
- Place the aubergine on a gas burner and cook it till its skin is charred and the vegetable softens about 90% (you don’t want it completely collapsing). This does become slightly messy so be prepared to clean the burner afterwards!
- As soon as the aubergine is almost cooked on the open flame, transfer it to an airtight container. This way, it will cook in its own steam a bit more.
- In the meantime, peel, wash and dice the onion.
- Peel and chop the garlic.
- Wash and slice the green chilli.
- Peel, wash and grate the ginger.
- Wash, chop and dry the fresh coriander.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan.
- When the oil becomes hot, lower the heat and add the cumin seeds.
- As soon as they stop spluttering, throw in the onion, garlic, tomato, green chilli and ginger.
- Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- While the onion mixture is cooking, go back to the aubergine.
- Remove the charred skin and roughly chop the flesh.
- Once the 10 minutes are up, uncover the pan and add the aubergine and garam masala powder. Mix well.
- Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Take off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the fresh coriander before serving.