(Indian curried eggplant and tomatoes)
Baingan bhurta, sometimes spelled baingan bharta, is kind of like an Indian version of the Middle East's baba ghanoush. Eggplant is roasted and then mixed with tomatoes and spices.
Serve baingan bhurta as a side dish or spread it on chapati or naan bread.
4 to 6 servings
- Eggplant, halved lengthwise -- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, or about 2 large
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Garlic, crushed -- 2 to 3 cloves
- Ginger, minced -- 1 tablespoon
- Chili peppers, minced -- 1 to 2
- Oil or ghee -- 3 tablespoons
- Cumin seed -- 2 teaspoons
- Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
- Tomatoes, chopped -- 2
- Water -- 1/2 cup
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Garam masala -- 2 teaspoons
- Cilantro, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the eggplant, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool somewhat, then peel, cut into chunks and set aside.
- Puree the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding a little water if necessary.
- Heat the oil or ghee over medium heat in a large pot, karahi or wok. Add the cumin seed and turmeric and stir until it is lightly browned and fragrant. Immediately stir in the onion puree and saute until any excess liquid has evaporated and the raw onion taste is cooked out, about 5 to 8 minutes. Take care not to burn the mixture.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes are cooked down and the liquid is reduced somewhat, around 5 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in the roasted eggplant and the water and salt. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to low, cover and cook slowly for another 15 to 20 minutes. The eggplant will break down into a puree.
- Remove from heat, stir in the garam masala and adjust seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.
Bainghan Bhurta Variations
- For a more substantial dish, stir in 1 cup of peas when you add the eggplant.