Coming to think of it, eggplant was an acquired taste for me. Though I used to enjoy eating veggies from early on, I never enjoyed eating eggplant. I don’t know why… I guess it's mainly because it wasn't a commonly used veggie at my place.
I started enjoying eggplant only after coming to Bahrain. The very first eggplant dish that I really liked was Moutabel. It’s a middle eastern roasted eggplant dip. When I first tasted it, I didn't know it was eggplant and I guess if I had known the chances of me tasting it was far-fetched. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, don't you think so?
Anyways, I tasted it, liked it and slowly developed love affair for it. These days I have it on a regular basis and I also make it at home (will share the recipe here). Thanks to Moutabel I started trying out other eggplant recipes and these days I really appreciate it. Eggplant parmesan is something that I’d love to try when I go to an Italian restaurant. Moussaka is another eggplant dish that I like.
So, it’s only natural that I like this Baigan ka Bharta too. The base of this dish is smoked eggplant cooked in spices. I love the creamy mashed texture and smoky flavor of this dish. I love to eat this with Tandoori roti / chapathi. It goes well with rice too.
Here is the recipe..
Bhaigan Bhurta ( Eggplant Curry )Print
- 1 Large Egg plant 350 - 375 gms
- 2 medium Onion chopped
- 2 tsp each Crushed ginger & garlic
- 2 - 3 Green chilli chopped
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2.5 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 medium - big Tomato chopped
- 10 Cashew nuts soaked in 2 tbsp hot water for 10 mins and ground to a smooth paste
- 1 - 2 tbsp Oil / Ghee
- 2 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
Smear 1 tsp ghee (refer notes) & salt over egg plant & roast on a gas flame till its skin is charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 - 20 mins or till it's cool enough to touch. Remove the skin and mash the flesh.
Heat oil / ghee in a pan & cook onion until it browns.
Add crushed ginger & garlic and chopped green chillies. Cook for 3-4 mins, till the raw smell goes.
Add all spice powders (turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala). Fry till raw smell goes and oil starts appearing, 3-4 mins. Add 1 - 2 tbsp of hot water to bring together the masala.
Add chopped tomatoes and salt. Cook till tomatoes softens.
Add mashed egg plant and mix well.
Add 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, bring to boil. Reduce flame to lowest, cover and cook for 6 - 8 mins, till the gravy becomes thick.
Add cashew paste to the masala and mix well. Cook for 3-4 mins.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix. Remove the curry from fire and let it rest for half an hour or so before serving. Serve with rice or roti.
Though you can use oil to smear the eggplant before roasting, I recommend using ghee. Ghee will add more flavor to the roasted eggplant.
Cashew paste is added for a creamier texture and for a rich masala. If you want, you can skip it.