- 2 eggplants
- 2.5 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3/4 cup diced onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 3-5 hot chilis
- 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger
- salt to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder/cayenne/paprika
- a lot of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Roasting the eggplants:
If you have a gas cook top, smear some oil on the each eggplant and place each of them straight on the burner, at medium flame, allowing the skin to get charred and blackened and turning them so all sides are done. The inside will be soft and mushy. by just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on low setting. .
Eggplants may be grilled on the outdoor grill too. Smear oil on the skin and cook by turning the eggplants to cook all sides until the outside is charred and inside is cooked and soft.
To cook in the oven, preheat oven to 200c. Smear some oil on both sides and roast flesh side down 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Bake it after it is roasted for about 5 – 7 minutes. This imparts the smoky flavor and also changes the color of the eggplants.
Let them cool. Peel off and discard the charred skin. Mash or use the food processor to puree the roasted flesh and keep aside.
Cooking the Bharta:
Heat a heavy bottomed pan. Add the oil and when the oil is hot and shimmers, add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add the onion, garlic, hot chili peppers. Cook at high heat for a couple of minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the ginger, tomatoes, (the peas – if you are using them), turmeric, salt, chili powder and cook for 5 – 7 minutes in medium heat until tomatoes are cooked and the oil separates. Add the eggplants and stir and toss well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the mashed eggplants are well combined with the spice mix in the pan.
Remove from heat. Add the fresh coriander when ready to serve.
Serve with flat breads