July 03, 2013

Punjabi Baingan Bharta / Fire roasted Eggplant Gravy


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Baingan Bharta , Baingan ka Bhurta or Baingan Da Bharta whatever you may call,all it means is a fire roasted mashed eggplant gravy with Indian spices.

A very popular dish in Northern India and a favorite in almost every house hold.There are different ways in which the Bhartha can be prepared. In Lucknow side ,they just fire roast the brinjal ,mash it up and flavor it with spices and mustard oil, something similar to Baba Ghanoush while the Punjabi style Baingan Bhartha is very different as it is cooked in onion tomato gravy after mashing up the roasted brinjal. 



To get the perfect taste of Punjabi style Bhartha ,the eggplant has to be grilled  over direct flame or  charcoal to infuse a smoky flavor into the gravy.  People do use microwave or other means to grill the eggplant but for me the stove top version seems the best way as I dont want to fall back on smoky flavor . The highlight of Punjabi baingan bartha is the rustic smoky flavor from the brinjal.

The gravy doesn't use very heavy spices or spice mix and hence it is fairly easy to make and also tastes rustic. 

The outer skin of the grilled eggplant is peeled off and mashed cooked with cilantro,red chilli powder,onion turmeric,onions to a perfect gravy.

Serve with any Indian Flat bread like rotis / parathas , Naans / Kulchas.





Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Grilling Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 3-4

Notes 
  • Jain version - skip ginger and onions 
  • No Onion No Garlic version - skip the onions 

Ingredients
1 big egg plant / aubergine (Bhartha baingan) 
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 big tomatoes finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
fresh coriander chopped
pinch of turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp dhania/coriander powder
finely chopped ginger
salt
1 -2 tbsp oil

Method

  • Apply a little oil all over the eggplant and grill on an open flame or over charcoal.
  • If you are using an electric stove,place the eggplant on a grill stand on the electric hot place and grill
  • Keep turning the eggplant over the flame for even grilling.
  • The eggplant will slowly start shrinking and the outer peel of the egg plant will have a charred look,that is when the egg plant is totally done.
  • Allow to cool for sometime and then peel of the outer and mash the eggplant thoroughly.
  • In a heavy bottomed skillet/kadai,heat the oil and saute the onion until pink.
  • Next add the chopped green chillies,tomatoes,
  • chilli powder,coriander powder and saute well.Add salt as per taste.
  • Pour about half a cup of water and cook well until the tomato forms the base of the gravy. You can see the oil ooze out as the gravy is cooking .
  • Now add the mashed eggplant and mix well and cook for about 8-9 mins until the flavors are well incorporated.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rotis / parathas.


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