Does that translation do justice to the good old Baingan ka Bharta? What do you think? Is there any other name by which it is known? I would really like to know. I tried to google for it and found that everyone has their own term. So, there, I add mine to the lot - Roasted Aubergine stir fry!
Now, Brinjal/Aubergine/Eggplant is a very dicey (pun?) veggie, meaning some love it, some loathe it and some don't care and its very hard to determine which category, a given person would be in. It can be assumed that most people will not like Karela (Bittergourd) but the same can not be said about Aubergine. While my bro D is a self confessed Brinjal hater, I have met people who can have it for all the 3 meals in a single day. Me? I don't mind having it once in a while and actually like it too.
Especially this Bharta. There are two ways a Baingan Bharta can be made. Both of them involve roasting the Aubergine first. The main difference in the 2 methods is that in the first, the Aubergine is not cooked again once it is roasted, whereas the second involves cooking it again for a few minutes along with spices and other ingredients. I prefer the second type and will be presenting it here in this post. The first method will also be posted some time in the future.
Coming to roasting the Aubergine, there are two ways to do it. Either on the stove top or in the oven. While the stove top method is the one that yields the best result and is quicker, the oven takes a very long time and the smoked taste which is very important for the Bharta is not achieved. But again for the second method of making the Bharta, where the Aubergine is going to be cooked again after roasting, this doesn't really matter. But the oven has another drawback namely the time factor. It really takes a long time, almost an hour or even more to get it roasted. But this might be the only option for people with an electric plate!
I alternate between the two roasting methods depending on the amount of time I have on hand, my mood and whether I have just cleaned the gas hob (The roasting makes a lot of mess!)
Baingan Ka Bharta
- 1 Large Aubergine (Fat as well as Long!)
- 1 Medium sized onion
- 1 Medium sized Tomato
- 1/2 tblsp oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 6-8 Curry Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Goda Masala (Maharashtrian Spice Mix, alternatively you can use this Sambhar Powder)
- Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
Roast the Aubergine
- For the oven, apply some oil to the surface of the Aubergine, keep it on a baking tray and place this in the oven at 220 deg C. No need to pre heat as the Aubergine will get cooked even while the oven is heating up. Check on it after about 20-25 min and turn if required. It should be completely done in another 20-25 min or so.
- For the stove top method, light the the gas burner and place the Aubergine directly on the flame. Keep changing the sides to expose each part to the flame until the skin is well charred and starts to peel off.
Once the Aubergine is roasted. the skin will peel off easily. Remove the skin and roughly chop it and keep aside till needed.
Heat the oil in a Pan and add the mustard seeds and Cumin seeds.
Once they splutter, add the curry leaves, Asafoetida and Turmeric powder.
Next, reserve about 1 tblsp of chopped onions and add the remaining to the tempering and saute.
When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes, again reserving 1 tblsp of it.
Cook till the tomatoes turn mushy and then add the Goda Masala or any other spice mix that you are using (I prefer the Sambhar Powder) and the red chilli powder. Mix well and cook for another minute.
Add in the roasted & chopped Aubergine along with the salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 3-4 min on a low flame.
Remove the cover and add the reserved onion & tomatoes along with chopped coriander leaves. Give it a stir and Switch off the flame.
Serve hot with Chapatis/Rotis.