Baigan (Brinja) Bharta (23 August 2014)

Last time for dinner I had a couple from India. My living room is connected to kitchen and there I had many eggplants lying on the trey, waiting for being cooked. Mau asked me what do I do with eggplants and I start to tell her about all different dishes, mainly Italian and Turkish where I use them a lot. She explained that she cooks Baigan Bharta and is so simple and delicious. The name was not at all familiar for me so I asked her to write the name on the paper and all needed ingredients (tomatoes, onion, garlic, coriander leaves, turmeric powder and eggplants). I could not believe my eyes only 6 ingredients, that’s it! Finally she said I need the eggplant to be roasted. With this argument I was convince that I will love this dish. I do not have to spend 1 h frying eggplants which is great!

As I mention before the name “Bharta” was not familiar to me so I start to do some research where I found out that the word “Bharta” refers to dishes in which the ingredients (vegetables) are mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. I learned from my Indian friends that Indian kitchen can differ a lot from region to region. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and are made from all sorts vegetables.

The evening before I did Baigan Bharta I roasted eggplants in the oven, 200 C for around 1 h till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. I left them to cool down and just before I went to sleep I had my last session with those beautiful roasted eggplants; I peel off and discard the charred skin. Then I chopped them and moved to the fridge.

Next day it was just to fry all the ingredients and serve with rice. It took me 15 minutes and the dinner was ready. My son was in heaven when he tried it. He told me that I have to stop cooking so delicious food ;). I do not understand should I stop cooking delicious food and just cook good food ;)!Not possible!

4 servings

3 medium-sized roasted eggplants
2 medium-sized tomatoes chopped fine
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tbsps canola cooking oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 cloves garlic chopped very fine
2 tbsps finely chopped fresh green coriander
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the canola oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet.Add the chopped onions and fry them till soft around 5 minutes. Add the garlic and turmeric powder and fry for one more minute.

Add the tomato and stir well while cooking for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle a little water if needed.

Add the eggplant and mix well and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chopped fresh coriander and stir. Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with Chapatis (Indian flatbread) and Rice. The recipe for Chapatis will come soon!
Let me know if you like it ;) Thank you Mou for a great recipe.