Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baingan Bharta

For this, you need to roast two large sized eggplants. You can do this by putting them in the oven on highest heat wrapped in foil for about 45 minutes. You can also paint them with oil, and roast them over a gas stove flame, turning them as they blacken. Once they seem mushy, allow them to cool, peel them, and set aside the flesh. A little bit of charred skin adds a nice smoky flavor note in this dish, so don't worry if there is some skin mixed with the flesh. Also, save the stems as a garnish, and also to suck on for the lucky people who get them.

Two large eggplants, cooked as instructed above.
2 medium onions, chopped finely
3 tomatoes, chopped into small chunks
1 heaping tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chile powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped finely
2-3 green chilies, chopped roughly
3 tbs oil
salt to taste
While your eggplants are cooking, make a Masala Melt (see post below). Start by frying in oil the cumin seeds and chopped onions on high heat, then turn down the heat and cook until they are nicely sauteed and clear. Add in the ginger and garlic, allow to cook through, then turn up the flame and add the red chile powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Once the spices sizzle, toss in the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have melted down and the oil has separated from the masala, you are done. Now mix in the eggplant flesh (stems, too). If by chance when you peeled the eggplant there were some uncooked parts deep inside, you can cook everything for a few minutes in the masala paste to cook them through. I usually add salt once I see how much eggplant flesh I have because you might have more or less depending on whether or not you had a lot of seeds in the eggplant. Some seeds are okay, but if you had a lot of seeds, you should toss that part out. Add salt now, mix well, and then mix in your green masalas (cilantro and chilies), and the garam masala. Stick the eggplant stems on top as a garnish. If you have an eggplant shaped serving dish, even cuter!

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