Like I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, I started eating Brinjals at a friend’s house when her Mom had made Baingan Bharta. But Ma never made it at home as Papa did not like it. I had no clue how it was made (not that I knew abouth other dishes that mom made over the years) I knew my husband loved Baingan but I absolutely had no clue as to which variety of Baingan is used for which sabji. This was just after marriage- I had gone on a day long outing with my friend Roli (She is an awesome cook), her hubby and my husband Charitra, on the way back we were very tired, and stopped at Roli’s house to have a quick cup of tea. It was then that she told me how to make Bharta and which Brinjal to pick for the same. I was so excited and wanted to make it for Charit. When we reached home Charit decided to take a quick nap and I went and picked the biggest brinjal I could see at the grocery store. By the time he woke up, Bharta was ready! He liked it and ate it but later told me that the brinjal in the Bharta was not mashed properly. So I worked on that too the next time and since then this is something we cook often and relish it.
1 Big Baingan (Brinjal/Eggplant)
2 medium-sized onions
2 green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
2 small tomatoes
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
1 tsp dhania powder (coriander powder)
salt to taste
1 Tablespoon oil
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
Chopped green coriander to garnish
The brinjal can be cooked on the burner or in the oven. If you have an oven you can preheat it to 300 degrees and then put the brinjal in a baking sheet and turn sides till its skin shows sign of cracking and can be peeled off. Also check by putting through a knife or a spoon if it is cooked from inside.
I do it on the gas burner. Put the brinjal directly on the gas burner and let it cook, till the outer skin starts to show cracks. Change sides so that it is cooked uniformly. Once the brinjal is cooked in this manner,and supple, take it off the heat and let it cool. Peel the outer skin and mash the pulp of the vegetable with a knife or a spoon. You can knead it a little with your hand. Please see to it that there are no pieces and the brinjal is mashed thoroughly.
Now take some oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the chopped onions and let them turn golden brown, add the ginger paste, let it fry for a couple of minutes and now add chopped tomatoes and green chillies. Add the masalas such as turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli. Stir well and let the vegetables be mashed.
Serve hot Baingan Bartha with Chapattis.