Baigan or eggplant is cooked in many different ways and is popular in most cuisines. In India eggplant is served curried, chopped, stuffed, battered, mashed, and deep-fried as a pakora. Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil so baking and roasting is the best way to cook it.
My mother roasted the eggplants on hot coals which gave them a smoky flavor. You can add a few drops of smoke flavor available as a liquid or grill the eggplants with hickory chips.
When making Bharta Punjabi style, roasted eggplant is cooked again with fried onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. My recipe uses very little oil and turns out delicious!
2 medium eggplants
2-3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2-3 medium tomatoes
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 tsps. extra virgin olive oil or 1 tsp. mustard oil
1 tsp. chopped green chilies (optional)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
2-3 drops smoke flavor (optional)
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Pierce eggplants once or twice with a fork, place them on an oven-proof tray lined with foil.
- Wrap garlic cloves in a small piece of foil, place on the tray next to eggplants.
- Bake eggplants for 10 minutes, rotate slightly and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove garlic from the oven.
- Turn on the broiler, rotate the eggplants one more time.
- Add tomatoes to the tray and broil for 5-10 minutes, rotating the eggplants until evenly cooked and tomatoes start to brown.
- Remove tray from the oven.
- Peel and mash roasted garlic.
- When cool enough to touch, carefully peel eggplants and tomatoes, discard peels.
- Transfer to a bowl, add garlic, onions, oil, salt, ginger, coriander (chili and smoke flavor).
- Mash everything with a potato masher or fork, breaking eggplant and tomato into small chunks.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice if the tomato is not tart enough.
- Serve with bread as an appetizer or as a side dish with your meal.
Copyright © Rashmi Rustagi 2012. All Rights Reserved.