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..
- 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.