Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant)

I’ve always wanted to make Baingan Bhartha (Eggplant) ever since I had it once in the Indian restaurant a few months ago. So I looked long and hard for a recipe that could emulate the flavors.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 medium tomatoes (using Roma)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I will be using red and yellow)
  • 1 green chili pepper, seeded (I will be using green bell pepper and adding some chili sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. ground peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Rub oil on the outside of the eggplant, or coat with cooking spray.

Step 3: Place under the broiler, and cook until the flesh is soft and the skin is blistering off, about 20-30 minutes. (Turn as needed for even cooking.)

Step 4: Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Discard the skin; chop up the flesh and set aside.

or

Step 1: Cook the whole eggplant (put it on a microwave safe dish) in microwave for 8 to 10 minutes until it is tender. If you are using an oven, preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and bake it for about 45 minutes turning the sides every fifteen minutes. Be sure to first put the eggplant in an oven safe shallow bowl or a cookie sheet.

Step 2: Let it cool and scoop out the flesh, then chop the eggplant in small pieces and keep aside.

Step 3: Blend together the tomatoes, ginger and green chili; set aside.

Step 4: Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.

Step 5: Add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic; cook and stir until tender, or until golden brown.

Step 6: Add the cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds and turn golden brown. (Be careful not to burn them.) *you may want to heat a bit more oil in the pan before doing this.

Step 7: Stir in the tomato and peas, and season with turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the tomato puree has begun to separate from the oil.

Step 8: Add eggplant over medium heat, keep stirring the eggplant and mashing the eggplant as it cooks; 8-10 minutes.

Step 9: Add the garam masala and cilantro.

Step 10: Taste, and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with a side of naan. (Side note: It taste best the next day.)

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