You will find various versions of this recipe as the preparation style tends to differ from region to region in India. Like the this recipe am sharing with you today is a Punjabi recipe that calls for onion tomato, ginger, garlic, green chillies and spices where as the Maharashtrian version my grandma made was without the use of tomato and with very little spices. Will share that recipe too someday. So stay tuned!
Now to the recipe....
1 large eggplant
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2-3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
2 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds (zeera) (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
4-5 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tbsp of oil
salt to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Mean while line the baking tray with aluminium foil and apply a thin coat of oil on the eggplant Make thin slits in the eggplant using a knife. This will help it to cook faster. Once the oven is heated to 400F, place the tray with eggplant in the oven and let it cook (rotating the eggplant every 15 minutes for even cooking) for about 1 hr or till properly cooked. Now broil the eggplant on high for about 10-12 mins turning the eggplant after 2-3 mins to provide uniform heat to all sides. Remove the tray out of the oven and allow time to cool. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle peel the skin off and then either with your hands or spoon mash the eggplant. Keep this aside.
In a vessel heat some oil and once hot add the cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add the onions and saute till they turn light golden brown. now add the ginger and green chillies and saute for 5 more mins. Now add the tomatoes and salt and mix.
When the tomatoes turn soft add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, amchur and coriander powder and mix well. Saute till this mixture starts leaving oil from the sides. Now add the mashed eggplant and mix well. Finally add the garam masala and coriander leaves
- I've used the oven to roast my eggplant but you could also roast it directly over fire or your grill.
- To give it a more smoky flavor, I have broiled the eggplant after baking it. however this step is optional.
- If your tomatoes are sour in taste, feel free to omit the dry mango (amchur) powder.
- Adjust the ginger and green chillies to taste if you like it more/less hot (spicy).
- Adding garlic is optional for this recipe
That's it our Punjabi Baigan Bharta is ready. Serve it hot with Roti/naan/chapati or and Indian bread of your choice. Enjoy!