Baingan Bharta (Smoky Eggplant Curry)

Since childhood, I have always been an eggplant fan and like it in any form. My mom makes the best eggplant dumpling curry, which is still my most favorite curry recipe! When it comes to Indian Cuisine, there are various ways of cooking eggplant. You can stuff them, saute them, or fire roast them. Either method is delicious! Each method gives a different texture and taste to the same eggplant and completely changes the dish. Baingan Bharta translates to eggplant mash and it is very simple vegan eggplant recipe that involves fire roasting eggplants, peeling its skin and cooking in onion-tomato gravy along with spices. There are various ways of making this dish and every part of India even has different recipes, however the main key is to get the smokey flavor in the eggplant, which comes from fire roasting the eggplant.

Choosing & Roasting the eggplant

When you go to the grocery store, make sure to get a small but firm eggplant. If you get a large eggplant, it has very huge seeds inside and it is usually dry when you cook it. Most of the times I use Japanese eggplants, because they are less seedy, perfect in texture and has a slight natural sweetness to it. 

There are two ways you can roast the eggplants to make this curry. Traditional way to get the perfect smokey flavor, you have to cook the eggplants straight on top of your gas stove. You can also bake the eggplants in the oven at 400 F for 40-50 minutes. Make sure to rotate the eggplants while they are in the oven to roast all sides evenly.

Traditionally, Baingan Bharta is served with Millet roti. However it also pairs well with Roti, and Paratha. At times I use this stuffing for my grilled sandwiches or dip for veggies and chips. This curry is very versatile so you can basically pair it however you like!

Serves 2

[Per serving Calories 75, Fat 2g, Carbs 7g, Fiber 1g, Protein 1g]

Ingredients

1 medium size eggplant or 2-3 small japanese eggplants

1 medium size onion, finely chopped

2 medium size roma tomatoes, finely chopped

2 tbsp of fresh garlic finely chopped

1 green chili, finely chopped

1- 2 tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)

1 tbsp coriander cumin powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp green onions, finely chopped

salt to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

Method

Rinse eggplant and dry well. Roast eggplant on an open flame, turning frequently, until its roasted well on all sides. The eggplant skin will blackened and eggplant will become very soft once its cooked well. Keep bowl on the side with cool water. Once the eggplant is cooked, submerge it in the cool water for few minutes and remove it on the side for peeling process. Remove the stem and peel off all the burnt skin off the eggplant. Chop is finely and keep it aside.

In a pan heat oil over medium heat. Add Cumin seeds, garlic, green chilies and onions. Sauté onions until translucent. Add tomatoes and all the seasonings (chili powder, cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt). Mix thoroughly and sauté for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the finely chopped fire roasted eggplant and mix thoroughly. Turn down the heat and let is simmer for 5 minutes to meld the flavors. Add chopped green onions and serve hot with millet roti, naan, paratha, roti, or choice of crusty bread.

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