“Baingan Bharta” is one of the classic north Indian recipes.It is cooked frequently in many houses in India and one of the popular side dish in restaurants too.The popular dish from Punjab is usually served with any Indian flat bread, but you can pair it up with plain steamed rice too. This is one of my favorite side dishes, right from childhood.
Baingan Ka Bharta is basically mashed roasted eggplant that’s spiced up with onions,tomatoes and other Indian spices to make a flavorful dish. Baingan means brinjal and Bharta means mashed.Traditionally the eggplants are grilled over charcoal or direct fire and the dish is wonderfully infused with a rustic smoky flavor. You can grill it in oven / microwave also to adopt to modern cooking. But in that case you would be compromising with its signature smoky flavor.
Are you ready to note down this simple recipe.. Here it goes..
Wash the eggplant and pat dry.Rub its surface with a thin coat of oil.Keep it to roasting, on open flame.Keep turning the eggplant in between every 2-3 mins, so that it gets cooked everywhere completely and uniformly.
Switch off the flame when the brinjal shrinks in size and skin of brinjal has charred nicely.Whole kitchen would be filled with lovely smoky aroma.
Let the eggplant cool for 5-10 mins. Later peel its charred skin,discard the stem and mash eggplant using hand or fork.Keep this aside.
In a pan / kadai,heat some oil.Once hot, temper it with cumin seeds .Once they start spluttering ,add onions, green chillies and ginger.Saute till onion turns translucent.
Next add tomatoes. Add salt. Saute them till tomatoes turn mushy.
Next add spices one by one, ie haldi,dhania powder,jeera powder,amchoor powder and red chilli powder.Mix well. Saute till this mixture starts leaving oil ie approx 4-5 min.
Now add mashed eggpalnt.Mix well. If required add little water. Saute for 3-4 mins.
Finally add garam masala and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well .Switch off.
Thats it our Punjabi Baingan Bharta is ready.Serve hot hot baingan Bharta with phulka / chapathi / Naan / any flat bread of your choice.
The ultimate taste of this dish lies in the perfect brinjals.So While buying eggplants for baingan bharta buy the ones that are big yet light. This is an indication that they don't have much seeds.I've roasted eggplant on direct fire. If you want you can use grill / oven / coal .
If you want you can also add finely chopped capsicum / green peas to it.