Baingan bharta

Bharta

Mashed eggplant, but SO much tastier than that sounds. And, if you cook it right, it can be visually appealing as well.

This one takes a bit of time, though. Give yourself an hour. Much of that hour is spent baking the eggplant, so you can do other things. Like chop onions and tomatoes. I substituted this for baba ganoush in my mezze tonight. It was really a mini-mezze, pita, tabouli and bharta. And yogurt. I got the tabouli recipe from one of the Moosewood cookbooks, and since that’s under copyright that’s all I’m going to say about it. It’s good, though, and I’ve got a picture for you at the bottom.

You need: 1 large eggplant (brinjal); 1 medium onion, finely chopped; 4 small tomatoes (like romas), finely chopped; 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (dhania); 1/4 each of turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder (or substitute 1 small tsp garam masala for all of these); 1 tsp ginger paste; 1 tbsp lemon juice; 1 tsp paprika (for color); salt to taste; oil

How to: Heat the oven to 400 F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and put it (skin up) on the cookie sheet. Put it in the oven and cook till done (30-40 minutes). Start chopping vegetables 🙂 When the eggplant is done, and it’s cooled, scoop out the insides, discarding the skin.

Alternatively, slice it in half, spray with oil, and broil skin up until the skin turns black.

If you have a gas stove, you can do this differently. Simply take the whole eggplant and roast it over the open flame. When the skin blackens all over and starts to crack, take it off and soak it in cold water. Let it cool. Squeeze gently to remove the excess water and peel and chop coarsely.

However you’re cooking it, at this point you mash it thoroughly.

Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions and sautée for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger, and spices and stir well. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook a couple minutes more. Add some water (if necessary) – not more than 1/4 cup. Mix well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and cilantro and mix.

Best eaten with some sort of flatbread – naans, chapatis, pita, tortillas, etc.

Here’s the picture of the tabouli.

tabouli.jpg

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