Eggplant Curry/Baigan Bharta
EVENT: A- Z CHALLENGE
THEME : A DISH BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER E
What is the A- Z Challenge? Well, we’re a Facebook group and every alternate month the participants make a dish with the relevant letter. The group was started in May 2018 by Jolly Makkar and Vidya Narayan. For January we have to post a recipe using an ingredient that begins with E. I decided to use eggplants.
I could have used other ingredients like eggs, elephant yam but stuck with eggplants for one main reason. I make baigan bharta often as my hubby loves it. I serve it either with rotis or bajra rotla. When I had to decide a dish for this challenge I made up my mind that this time my baigan bharta recipe should find its way to my blog. So many times, have forgotten to note down the measurements for the recipe and to take photos of the prepared dish.
I guess this recipe was waiting for this challenge. I also like to add freshly chopped fenugreek leaves or methi to give it a different taste.
EGGPLANT CURRY/BAIGAN BHARTA
2 large(approx.700g) eggplants (aubergine, baigan)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp chilli paste or 2-3 finely chopped chillis
1 tsp ginger paste
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ghee
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ – 1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup thick fresh tomato puree
¼ – ⅓ cup water
½ cup finely chopped fresh fenugreek (methi)
1¼ – 1½ tsp salt
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander for garnishing
extra oil for rubbing on the eggplants
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Wash the eggplants and dry them on a kitchen towel.
- Trim the stem off. Cut the eggplants into halves.
- Rub oil all over the eggplant halves.
- Lightly grease a baking tray.
- Put the eggplants on the tray with the cut side facing down.
- Bake the eggplants for 30 minutes or till they become soft. After 15 minutes of the baking time, turn the eggplants halves so that the cut side is facing the top. Complete baking them. The top will roast and become golden brown.
- Remove the tray from the oven. Let the eggplants cool down a bit.
- Remove the peel and discard. Mesh the eggplants lightly.
- Heat oil and ghee in a pan over medium heat.
- Add fenugreek seeds. As they begin to sizzle, add mustard seeds and then the cumin seeds.
- Add chopped onion and stir fry them till they turn light brown in colour.
- Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. The add the chilis and ginger paste. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add asafetida, turmeric, chili, coriander and cumin powders. Mix well.
- Add the chopped fenugreek and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato puree and salt. Mix well.
- Cover the pan and let the tomato puree cook for 3-4 minutes. In between stir the mixture so that it does not stick to the pan.
- Add the meshed eggplant and mix well.
- Cover the pan and let it simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add garam masala and mix well.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with parathas or rotis.
- For this curry its best to use the large variety of eggplants.
- To get the authentic smoky flavor, put a cola piece on an aluminum foil. Pour a little oil over it and light it. Place the smoking coal with the aluminum foil on the curry. Shut the pan with the lid and leave it for 10 minutes. Remove the coal and aluminum foil just before serving.
- Adjust spices according to your liking.
- Adding fresh fenugreek is optional.
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