Some vegetables are liked much by everyone in family while others are less likable, eggplant (called baingan in India) belongs to the less likable category in our household when I was a kid. However, once I tried the Punjabi version of baingan bharta on road side dhaba (road side small places for food), I just fell in love with it.
Then we started making baingan bharta at our home, and slowly it became one of the regular dish in my kitchen. My husband doesn’t like eggplant only except when it is Smoky Egplant mash (bharta). My mom used to make baingan bharta, by roasting eggplant and then adding mustards oil, garlic and some unique spices. It is very similar to Punjabi style Baingan bharta.
We are going to make same Punjabi Style Roasted Eggplant Bharta. Enjoy !
1 medium eggplant, around 1 lb (500 grams)
1.5 tablespoon oil, I used olive oil and mustard oil mix.
7 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger grated
1 green chili, or to taste, chopped
1 medium red onion chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, or as per taste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2. Make few slits all over the eggplant with a knife. I did 8 slits, and if your eggplant is big or small, you can make slits depending upon size.
4. Turn on the stove in medium heat and put the eggplant directly on the flame heat. Roast it on all sides by often turning it for around 10-12 minutes or until completely roasted.
7. Use tongs to remove the eggplant from the stove and turn off the stove. Keep it aside to cool down. Once the roasted eggplant is cooled, remove the skin.
9. Now, turn on the stove and heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. I used olive oil and mustard oil mixed. Once the oil is a little hot, add in the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Onions should be cooked until it is softened. It should be a little pink, and remember to not brown or burn them.
11. Add the mashed eggplant and garlic into the pan and mix with onion and tomato masala.
12. Add the coriander powder and salt and mix to combine—Cook the Eggplant bharta for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Keep stirring from time to time.
13. Now, add the grated ginger and the red chili powder and mix well. Let it cook for 5 more minutes and keep stirring, too.
14. Finally, mix in the chopped green chilies and chopped cilantro, stir it, and turn off the heat.