Baingan Ka Bartha

Baingan(brinjal/eggplant/aubergine) is a vegetable despised by most people. Infact I too hated it as a kid. Later on, when I tasted dishes like enna kathrika and brinjal chutney, I thought its not bad after all ; well, going a step further I concluded it's also another yummy veg. For that matter, any food can taste yummy if you only cook it right. One might do wonders with brinjal or even end up making a disastarous potato meal (potatoes are supposed to taste yummy in any form). Cooking is all about what you add when. If you add the right ingredient at the right time, you can make delicious meal with just anything. You know I am a foodie and don't get surprised when I occasionally throw such words of wisdom :)
Coming to the brinjal story, I got hooked to it when I first tasted brinjal chutney. It is usually made with smoked brinjal and smoking adds a great flavour to the otherwise boring brinjal. The north Indian version of it is today's hero - Baingan Ka Bartha. It is a punjabi dish made with smoked brinjals cooked in Indian spices. It is traditionally made in a charcoal stove and since I couldn't get hold of one, I managed with my electric stove. The idea is to char the brinjal and add a smoky flavour. You can even make use of your conventional oven. This is the first ever time I am trying this and I should say I'm impressed with the results. I haven't even tasted this in hotels for the mere fact that I didn't wanna order brinjal when there are umpteen yummy dishes. This time when I saw those big eggplants in the produce section, I wanted to make the best out of it.
I have added peanuts to the recipe since peanuts and brinjal make a lovely pair. I don't think it is added in the authentic recipe. This goes well with both rice and rotis. One warning here is, the chance that you might like this dish is remote due to the smoky flavour. Try at your own risk!

Big eggplant - 1
Onion finely chopped - 1
Tomatoes finely chopped - 2
Jeera - 2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste(or crushed ginger and garlic) - 1 tsp
Small green chillies - 3 finely chopped
Peanuts- a few
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Finely chopped coriander, onion and tomato to garnish
salt to taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Lemon juice - 1 tsp(optional)

1. Smoke the eggplant thoroughly over the stove or by using oven.
2. Remove the skin and mash it.
3. Heat oil, season with jeera and fry onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic.
4. Add tomatoes and peanuts; when cooked, add the dry powders.
5. Add the mashed eggplant and cook till dry.
6. Mix the lime juice and garnish with the ingredients mentioned.


Kitchen Flavours said...

This looks different and droolworthy....

Chitra said...

i love brinjals, urs is looking so nice..wish to have it now:)

Pooja said...

I love Baingan ka Bharta..looks spicy n delicious :)

Pavithra said...

First time here..U have nice blog here.. loved all ur post will visit regularly

Sandy said...

Yummmmmm it's one of my fav's! Thanks so much for sharing! Absolutely love your blog :)

Sandy said...

This is my blog too hun! will definitely pass on the link to really is awesome!

Sree vidya said...

Thanx Lubna, Chitra and Pooja for your wonderful comments and the constant encouragement.You all made my day :)

Sree vidya said...

Hey Pavithra,
Welcome to my blog.
Glad that you liked it and took the pains to leave a wonderful comment.
Sure, I would be more than happy to see u regularly.

Sree vidya said...

Hey Sandy,
Thanx for your awfully sweet comments.
Sure, will visit your blog and u too come here regularly.

Naarya said...

ok...for a complete kitchen dunce like me, u shd also say how exactly to "smoke" a brinjal. I cant even imagine how to do it? :( sutta appalam maadiri flame mela kaattanuma??? appalam na....tongs use pannalam...but brinjal????? :( how??? eppidi???? :(

Sree vidya said...

Ok Bittu!
I used tongs for even this
and sometimes, I just used my hand since I can bear heat.
Ideally use the tongs u use for roti.(like the ones they have in the bakery to pick cakes)
I kept the stove on sim (3 or 4 in the electric one) and was turning the brinjal now and then(3 min once)
The skin should completely turn black and u must feel the softness which indicates that it is cooked.
Cool and mash. If you feel it is not cooked inside, just microwave to cook thoroughly(only if it is not cooked well. U shud ideally smoke the brinjal to cook it)
Will try to be more descriptive here after.
Thanx Bittu