I love this amazingly delicious eggplant recipe. It enhances the eggplant making it decadent and smoky. Traditionally, In this dish, the eggplant is roasted over an open flame. The skin is peeled and the pulp inside is cooked with onions, tomatoes and garlic. I don’t have a gas burner to roast it over an open flame, so I use the oven and broil it on high, turning it from time to time so it doesn’t burn. Here is the recipe. Fresh eggplants are easier and faster to cook.

1 large eggplant
6 cloves of garlic
3 green chillies( optional )
Onion – 1 cup finely chopped
Tomatoes – 1.5 cups finely chopped or a can of tomatoes
Salt – as per taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Cumin and coriander powder – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a couple pinches
Cilantro to garnish
Peanuts – coarsely chopped to garnish

Wash the eggplant and make large 2 inch deep slits at 1 inch intervals all through the eggplant. Cut garlic cloves into halves lengthwise and green chillies into slices and insert them into these slits. When done , brush the eggplant with 1 tsp oil and broil it on high for about 45 mins. The skin should be charred and the flesh inside should be soft enough to mash with a potato masher. If the skin is charred but the flesh is not cooked well, use the food processor to mash the pulp.

While the eggplant is under the broiler, heat a pan and pour 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot , add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add cumin seeds and when they roast add the onions. When the onions are brown, add tomatoes. Add the salt, turmeric, chilly powder, asafoetida, coriander and cumin powder and cook till the tomatoes leave the sides of the pan. The key to a good baingan bharta is to cook the onions and tomatoes really well.

When the eggplant is done under the broiler, remove and let cool. When cool, remove skin and mash the plus inside with a potato masher. Add it to the tomato onion mixture and cook for a few more minutes.

Coarsely chop peanuts and add to the bharta. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot rotis! This is a great combination with a yellow dal and a green chutney.