For me eggplant is synonymous to bharta, I like my eggplant smoked and mashed with lots of garlic and spices. Smoking of the eggplant on fire imparts a wonderful flavour to the dish. Long back in India we had a neighbour, who made this bharta with mustard oil and served with baati. I am not used to eating food cooked in mustard oil but enjoyed that rare treat by our wonderful neighbour, still that taste of bharta with baati soaked in ghee lingers on my tongue. And this bharta tastes wonderful with any Indian bread like naan and parathas.
The most important thing to remember is to buy a good quality of eggplant without any holes and to char the skin completely, so that the inside are cooked thoroughly and the eggplant gets tender and juicy.
When I was removing the charred skin of eggplant, my daughter who just entered the kitchen stood on the door for a while and watched me curiously. After I had cut open the smoked eggplant, she seemed to be horrified and asked me..."mumma have we started eating non vegetarian food, is this some kind of fish? " . But when I explained her that this is eggplant she was relieved but still refused to eat the final dish...so I made some potato fry for her. I hope that when she grows up she will start liking this dish.
Eggplant- 1 Large
Onions- 2 Medium (finely chopped)
Ginger- 1 Inch Piece
Garlic- 4 Cloves
Green Chillies-2 ( chopped)
Tomatoes- 2 Medium (finely chopped)
Green Peas- 1/4 Cup
Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
Salt- To Taste
Oil- 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
Coriander Leaves- To Garnish
Fried Garlic slices- To garnish
- Wash the eggplant and pat dry. Now rub 1 tsp of oil on the skin. Switch on the gas in medium flame and keep the eggplant directly on the fire. Let the skin char, keep turning the eggplant from all sides so that whole skin is charred and the eggplant is cooked from inside.
- Once the eggplant is charred keep it aside on a plate to cool down for about 10 minutes. Then peel of the skin and remove its crown. Cut the eggplant and mash it thoroughly with help of a fork.
- Pound ginger and garlic together in a mortar and keep aside.
- Heat the 3 tbsp of oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot add in mustard and cumin seeds. When the seeds start crackling add in green chillies, chopped onions and pounded ginger and garlic.
- Once the onions turn brown add in chopped tomatoes, green peas along with turmeric, red chillies, salt and coriander powder. Let the mixture cook on a medium flame till the spices are cooked and the mixture starts leaving oil from the sides.
- Now at this stage add in the mashed eggplant and mix everything together. Keep on cooking the mixture till a nice aroma comes say for about 7-8 minutes.
- Now switch off the gas and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and some fried garlic slices.
- Serve super hot.
Also linking this to Hot & Spicy Treats event at Amy's space Foodssrilanka.
Sending this black and white picture to Susan's Black And White Wednesday.