Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)

I used to despise eggplants. With their weird rubbery purple skin and unappetizingly bland looking fleshy innards, they were definitely not one of the most desirable vegetables to consume. However, while cooking for nearly 40 people at my co-op one day, someone requested that we use up all the remaining eggplants in the fridge before they spoiled. So, I dug out Ammi’s old recipe book (Manisha Kanani’s The New Indian Cooking Course) and tried the “Aubergine Curry” (aubergine being synonymous with eggplant). Not only was it a big hit with everyone at dinner that night, but it become my new (and only) favorite eggplant dish! I have made it so many times over the past three years that the page in my cookbook is well-stained and crumpled from overuse (as any good recipe should be). Check it out below and let me know what you think! 🙂

IMG_22482


Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp grond coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh coriander spring to garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wrap the eggplants individually in aluminum foil and bake in the oven for an hour or until soft. Remove, unwrap, and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the mustard seeds for 2 minutes until they begin to sputter.
  3. Add the spring onions, mushrooms, garlic and chili and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. IMG_2182

  5. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. IMG_2198

  8. Peel the skin off the eggplants, cut the flesh into small pieces, place in a small mixing bowl and mash roughly with a fork. You can also leave the skin on and instead cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon into a mixing bowl.
  9. IMG_2211

  10. Add the mashed eggplant and chopped fresh coriander to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  11. Garnish with a fresh coriander sprig. Serve with naan or chapati and enjoy!
  12. IMG_2245

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