Eggplant curry (baingan bharta)

Eggplant curry (baingan bharta)

Eggplant curry (baingan bharta)

For dinner on Thursday night, and lunch leftovers on Friday, I cooked with eggplant for the very first time. This dish also gave me the opportunity to try out the new non-stick marble coated wok I picked up the last time I was at T&T.

For this dish I chose something relatively simple to make. Simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean simple flavours though; this dish had plenty of layers. I could definitely see myself doubling the recipe next time in order to have additional leftovers. Eaten with half a piece of Olafson’s flaxseed and multigrain breakfast pita (toasted in the already heated broiler), the meal was healthy, full of vegetables, spicy, hearty, satisfying and filling. My best reaction was a statement from one of the other people who ate the dish – “you’re allowed to make this one again.”

The recipe listed below is close to the original that was posted, but I added some ingredient notes, adjusted some of the ingredient sizes, and fixed some missing instructions.

Eggplant curry (baingan bharta)
Makes approximately 4 servings.
Adapted from Serious Eats, who adapted it from Vegetarian Concoctions.

1 large eggplant
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 jalapeños, seeded and chopped (or substitute with dried chiles)
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon red chile powder (or substitute with cayenne pepper, may want to put less if you don’t like your food to be very hot)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoon canola oil
Salt to taste (I actually left it out)
Handful cilantro/coriander, chopped

Preheat the broiler. Rub a little bit of the oil on the eggplant and set underneath the broiler. Cook until flesh is very tender, flipping every 3 to 4 minutes, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove and set aside to cool down. This may take a while to cool, so I recommend giving yourself some time for this step or risk burned fingers when you try to chop up the eggplant.

Pour the rest of the oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss in the ginger and chilies, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and onions, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Dump in the tomatoes and cook for 5 to 7 minutes more.

Remove the skin from the cooled down eggplant, and roughly chop the tender flesh. Add to the skillet along with the red chili powder, garam masala, tumeric, and the rest of the cumin. Cook for 5 minutes so all the flavours can mingle. Season to taste with salt and garnish with some cilantro.

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