Saturday, September 8, 2012

Baingan Bharta - the North Indian Egg Plant preparation

Living in an apartment has its own cons. The most important being not having your own garden or backyard where you can grow your vegetables, fruits, flowers and so much more. Another being your pet not having adequate room to play around. Thus, I wish to own a Row-House someday, for now I heave a sigh with the thought that someday we sure will :D

I often remember my Grand Mothers (My Mothers side) house which has this huge garden where Didu (My Grand Mother) at her time used to grow so many flowers, fruits and vegetables, the colourful garden and the chirping birds where I used to spend so much time as a child. My heart sinks thinking about the state of it today, Didu cannot move around any more like she used to, due to age and the many adverse effects that it brings along. Whenever I have paid a visit in recent times, I have silently hoped and prayed that some miracle will strike and I will see my Grandparents the way I remember them & the way I would like to remember them till the end of time. The Garden is not the same any more as well; Rose, Jasmine, Marigold and so many others have withered. The Guava, Mango, Jambul, Areca Nut, Coconut trees are over grown and the new generation in the dwelling does not have the time to trim or water them, though they still fruit; their homage to my Grandparents I guess.

This post of mine is about Baingan Bharta, the reason I wrote so much about my Grandparents Garden is because they grew so much of these bright purple Egg plants and Didu used to make lip-smacking Begun-Pora (A Bengali form of Baingan Bharta without sautéing the Onion in Oil or adding the spices) with them. With heart warming memories of my dearest Grandparents better times I share with you the recipe of Baingan Bharta, a North Indian speciality. I started roasting my Egg Plants thinking of making Begun-Pora, after roasting decided to make Bharta.

So here is what we will need:

1.   Egg Plants – 2 medium.
2.   Onions – 2 medium – chopped.
3.   Green Chillies - 5 – chopped.
4.   Tomato – 1 – large – chopped.

5.   Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp.
6.   Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp.
7.   Cumin Powder – 1 tsp.
8.   Coriander Powder – 1 tsp.
9.   Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp.
10.                 Salt to taste.
11.                Cooking Oil

How I did it:

·         Slit the Egg Plants like shown in the picture, do not remove the stems.

·         Turn the stove on, set the flame to high and roast the Egg Plants, keep turning it around so that the high flame does not burn the Egg Plants.

·         The skin will start to wrinkle in no time and the Egg Plant will get roasted from the insides. Once done, take off the flame and set aside to cool down.

·         Once they cool down, remove the skin with your hands.

·         After removal of the skin, cut off the stems, mash the Egg plant and set aside.

·         In a Pan, heat the cooking Oil and start frying the Onions.

·         Add ½ tsp Turmeric Powder and keep frying.

·         Once they turn translucent, add the chopped Green Chillies.

·         Fry for some time and add the chopped Tomatoes.

·         Tomatoes take time to cook, a little bit of Salt can be added here so that they cook faster.
·         Add the mashed Egg Plant once Tomatoes are done.

·          Mix thoroughly; add all the dry spices now along with the rest of the Salt and mix again.

·         Once the dry spices are cooked, turn off the stove & pour into a serving bowl, you can garnish with some fresh Cilantro, I did not have any in my stockpile hence had to leave it out .

This tastes best with Rotis.

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