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Baingan Bharta is smoked Eggplant cooked with onions, tomatoes and other spices. This is one of the famous delicacies of North India. Traditionally, the eggplant is roasted over the stove top causing the outer skin to get charred but cooks the eggplant inside. The charred skin is then meticulously removed and the flesh of the cooked eggplant is separated. This gives that distinct smoky flavor to the dish when cooked.
However many of my family and friends do not prefer the smoky taste and so I sometimes resort to cooking the eggplant directly in the microwave. This has the taste of the regular Bhartha minus the smoky flavor, of course.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Eggplant

  • 1 medium onion finely chopped

  • 1 large chopped tomato

  • 1 tsp. each ginger- garlic paste

  • 2-3 green chillies cut

  • 2 tsp tamarind paste

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • Turmeric powder

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • ½ cup finely chopped coriander leaves

  • Mustard seeds

  • 2-3 curry leaves

  • Oil

  • Salt to taste

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Method:

  • Brush little oil on the eggplant and prick it with fork at multiple places. This ensures that the eggplant does not burst in the microwave when it is cooking. Now microwave for 10 minutes until it is cooked. (The time depends on the power of the microwave). 

  •  If the skin of the eggplant can easily be peeled then it is ready to go. Peel the skin and mash it thoroughly either with hand/fork and lightly run it through blender once. (Do not make a complete paste). 

  •  Now to this mashed eggplant, add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, tamarind paste mix and keep aside to marinate.

  •  Heat oil in a heavy saucepan, add mustard seeds, and curry leaves then ginger garlic paste and mix. Add onions, stir until it turns transparent.

  •  Add green chillies, tomatoes, simmer till oil separates. 

  •  Add mashed marinated eggplant and mix well. Stir for another 5 minutes. Finally add the lemon juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

This serves as a wonderful accompaniment with hot rotis/rice.

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