Baingan ka Bharta or Mashed roasted Eggplant is an Indian vegetarian side dish which has many variations. The taste and the way its prepared changes from North to South and from West to East. As I have been born and brought up in Varanasi, I have mostly eaten Baingan ka Choka, which is prepared by roasting Eggplants, Tomatoes and Potatoes over Charcoal and mashing them together and adding seasoning which includes raw Mustard oil. However this is the Punjabi or North Indian version of mashed eggplant that I am going to share it to you in this post.
2 medium size rounded shaped purple colored Eggplant.
2 tablespoon of refined Oil ( I prefer Sunflower Oil)
2 medium size Onions, peeled and chopped finely.
1 teaspoon of grated fresh Ginger
4 cloves of Garlic, cleaned, peeled and finely grated
2 medium size tomato, cleaned and chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric (Haldi) powder
1/2 teaspoon of Coriander Seed (Dhania) powder
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin (Jeera) powder
1/3 teaspoon of Garam Masala powder
1 teaspoon of Kashmiri Chili ( Kashmiri or Degi Mirch) powder
1/2 teaspoon of dry Mango powder (Amchoor)
Salt as per taste.
1. Mark a deep cross cut using a sharp Knife at the bottom of Eggplant such that it remain intact from top. This is done to check presence of any worm or maggot inside it. After cutting it cross from the bottom, look inside it and ensure that there is no pest/worm/maggot inside it. If found, discard it immediately and use another one for cooking. This is very important step to avoid presence of and pest in it. Now Roast Eggplant over a flame till its outer layer turn blackish in color and the inner pulp of it get loosened up. Your burner will surely get dirty, so do clean it afterwards.
2. Repeat Step-1 with second Eggplant and then leave both roasted or grilled Eggplants to cool it down.
3. Meanwhile, heat Oil in the pan and add chopped onions to it, saute onions on medium heat till it gets light Brown in color. Now add grated Ginger and Garlic it it and mix it well for 1 minute.
4. Add Coriander seeds ( Dhania ) powder, Cumin (Jeera) powder, Turmeric (Haldi) powder and Kashmiri Chili ( Kashmiri or Degi Mirch) powder and mix it well for nearly 30 seconds on low flame.
5. Add chopped Tomatoes to it and cook it on medium slow flame, stirring continuously till the time gravy starts releasing (separating) oil from it.
6. In the meantime, remove the burnt peel of the roasted Eggplant using your fingers. It will come out easily as Eggplants have become cool. Now mash the cleaned and peeled Eggplant using your hand or a Masher.
7. As soon as gravy starts releasing (separating) oil from it, add Garam Masala powder and dry Mango powder (Amchoor) to it and mix it well for 10 seconds.
8. Now add mashed Eggplants to it, mix it well and cook it on medium slow flame for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Super yummy Banigan ka Bharta is ready. Garnish it with fresh Green Coriander and serve it with Parantha, Naan, Roti or Rice. I even love to spread it on a toasted Bread and enjoy it.