Baigan Bharta
       
    This is a spicy eggplant (aubergine) dish traditionally done in Northern India. It is roasted over the ashes of a burnt
    down wood fire and then fried in various Indian spices and herbs. What we are teaching is an alternative way of
    preparing the same dish at home.

    Serves 6:
    Preparation Time: 40 minutes


    Ingredients:
  • Aubergine – 2 large
  • Oil – 5 tablespoon
  • Garlic, finely chopped – 50 gm
  • Ginger, finely chopped – 50 gm
  • Green chillies, finely chopped – 1
  • Onions, finely chopped – 2 large
  • Tomato, finely chopped – 1 medium
  • Peas (fresh or frozen) – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1½ teaspoon or to taste.
  • Red Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala – ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander, finely chopped – 1 small bunch.


    Method:
  • Wash the aubergine under running cold water. Wipe it dry with a kitchen towel.

  • Roast it on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven - 200º C for 20 minutes.

  • When the aubergine is fully cooked, it will be quite limp, the skin blistered and the juices beginning to ooze out.

  • Let the aubergines cool briefly. Then carefully scrape the charred skin off.

  • Rinse quickly under running cold water to wash away any skin that may still cling to the aubergine. Then mash the
    pulp nicely with a fork, leaving no lumps behind.

  • Heat 5 tablespoon oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic, ginger and green chillies stirring for a few minutes.

  • Add onions and fry until they are golden brown. Then add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

  • Stir in 2 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon red chillies, 1 teaspoon cumin powder and ½ teaspoon garam masala. Reduce heat
    to medium and add aubergine pulp and peas.

  • Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Garnish with coriander and
    serve hot.


    Variation:
    Stand aubergine on a burner of a gas stove, over a low flame until the side of the aubergine is thoroughly charred
    (about 5 minutes). Now lay the aubergine on its other side to roast, turning it every minute with a pair of tongs until it
    is fully charred and very soft (about 15-20 minutes).


    Tips:
    Add chopped green pepper instead of peas. Grill aubergine on a barbecue or in skewers for an added charcoal flavour!