Baingan Bharta

Back in August I promised my friend Amanda over at Chubby Vegan Mom that I would make some curry from scratch. She told me a horrible story about how she has to resort to pre-made Trader Joe's curry whenever she gets the Indian bug. Then I was super lame and didn't post anything even mildly related to Indian cuisine... until RIGHT NOW!


So I'm very lucky to live in Toronto where we have some really amazing Indian food. We even have a little India. My favourite restaurant, Banjara, has a location 5 walking minutes away from my apartment. My favourite dish is called Baingan Bharta. It's basically an eggplant mash-up of deliciousness. This is a fresher version than what you might find in restaurants, I haven't figured out how to make it extra unhealthy yet... not that I'm going to try too hard to get that solved.


Baingan Bharta
Serves3-4

Ingredients
1large eggplant
3tbsp Earth Balance
1large onion, diced
1tsp each ginger and garlic paste
1large tomato, seeded and diced
1green chili,seeded and diced
1tsp chili powder
½tsp garam masala
½ tspturmeric
1 tspground cumin
1 tsp groundcoriander
½cup peas
¼ cupcoconut milk
Saltto taste

Roasting your eggplants:
1)  Over open flame – BBQ or gas cook top. Keepthe flame low if you’re using your cook top. Rub a little bit of oil over theskin and cut some slits here and there. Turn periodically; ensure all of theskin becomes charred. The eggplant will kind of implode on itself, this is agood sign.
2) In your oven – rub alittle bit of oil over the skin and cut some slits here and there. Place itdirectly on the oven rack. Turn periodically. This will probably take longerthan using an open flame.
Once the skin of the eggplantis charred, remove it from heat, allow it to cool slightly and peel off theskin. Mash up the soft eggplant innards and set aside.
Over medium heat, meltthe Earth Balance in a deep frying pan or medium saucepan. Sauté the onionsuntil translucent. Add ginger, garlic and chili, sauté for 2 minutes more.Don’t let the garlic burn.
Add the tomato, chilipowder, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook 5-7 minutes more. Addthe peas and mash the mixture with a potato masher. Cook 5 minutes more.  Add the eggplant and cook, covered, 5 minutesmore.
Remove from heat. Stirin the coconut milk and season to taste. Serve with roti and rice, if you’reinto that sort of thing.


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