A healthy tasty flame roasted eggplant recipe from Punjabi India!
Indian eggplant are much smaller than standard eggplant and they are about the same size as Thai green eggplant. The small purple eggplant in the pictures above are what are needed for this Punjabi recipe.
The eggplant are roasted over an open flame, till the skin becomes black in this recipe. If you have an electric stove, then set the broiler to high heat and roast the eggplant under the broiler. The eggplant will have to be turned occasionally.
Peas often are added to this Baingan Bharta recipe, but they are an optional ingredient. In Pakistan and India, peas are often added for color and extra nutrition. Add 1 small handful of peas if you wish too. I chose to leave the peas out of this recipe.
North Indian garam masala is also known as Indian warming spice. The flavors give a comfortable warming effect that is similar to German apple spices, but the garam masala mixture is much more complex.
Traditionally, South Indian cooking has a reputation for hot chile pepper seasoned food. In modern times, there are pockets nationwide in India that enjoy spicy chile pepper heat. Punjabi is a very lively area with a reputation for great Hindi Clubs and night life. Spicy night life demands spicy fun food! This is a moderately spicy recipe. The amount of chile pepper spice can be adjusted to suit the palate of the guests.
Roti Chapati bread is easy to make. It is even easier to purchase freshly made at an Indian market! I was shopping at the Rani's World Foods market in Las Vegas and purchased 10 roti chapati that were made to order. I will post a chapati recipe in this blog at a later date. For now, while I am attending school full time, convenience is a luxury worth paying for. Besides, the roti chapati at Rani's looked really good! Rice can take the place of the roti chapati and that is traditional too.
Punjabi Style Baingan Bharta Recipe:
Roast 5 small Indian purple eggplant over an open flame, till the skin chars black and crisp.
Place the flame roasted eggplant under cold running water and peel off the charred skin.
Trim the stems off of each eggplant.
Use the side of a cleaver or a plate to mash each flame roasted eggplant flat.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Add 1 handful of finely chopped onion.
Add 1 seeded jalapeno pepper that is finely chopped.
Saute till the peppers and onions turn a golden brown color.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala.
Add 1 teaspoon of Indian or Chinese red chile powder.
Add 3 pinches of turmeric.
Add 1 1/2 finely chopped Roma tomatoes.
Saute till the tomatoes start to become tender. (About 1 minute)
Add the pressed flame roasted Indian eggplant.
Add 1/2 cup of water.
Add sea salt. (No pepper is needed. Black pepper is already in the garam masala!)
Simmer and reduce, till all of the liquid has evaporated.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of clarified butter.
Saute and pan fry the ingredients, till a golden sheen appears on the mixture.
Add 1 very small squeeze of lemon juice, while tossing.
Place the baingan bharta into a casserole serving dish.
Place several fresh cilantro leaves on the baingan bharta around the border of the dish.
Serve with warm roti chapati bread or plain basmati rice.
Serve with a small ramekin of cilantro chutney. (Pre-made cilantro chutney is available in Indian markets.)
This eggplant recipe has such a great flavor! Butter is only used to finish pan frying the baingan bharta. Lemon is nearly always added last for a crisper flavor. No garlic in this recipe! The onion flavor turns sweet and that combines with the flame roasted eggplant in a nice way. Yum! ... Shawna