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A Winning Dish for Winter

6 January 2011 No Comments Print article Print article

Winter is a great time to turn to things savory.  Baigan Bharta is an eggplant dish that is perfect for potlucks — even the non-vegetarians in the crowd will enjoy its rich flavor. One of the great things about this dish is that it’s a different way to cook with eggplant other than the common Eggplant Parmesan, and roasting the eggplant renders a depth of flavor and texture not usually found in some everyday eggplant dishes. Pair it with chapattis or tortillas as an entree, or serve it as a dip for parties with pita bread triangles. Either way, it’s a winner.

Baigan Bharta

Serves 4-6 as an entrée, more for a dip.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1 pinch of hing (found in Indian grocery store)

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 Tablespoon ground coriander

¾ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon garam marsala

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste,

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained

½ chopped jalepeno

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon or lime.


Preparation:

  1. Place the whole eggplant on a cookie sheet in a 500-degree oven, and roast for approximately 20 minutes, turning frequently, until the skin is scorched and the eggplant is soft.  Remove and set aside. When it is cool enough to handle, pull off as much of the skin as you can with your fingers, and cut off the stem. Place the eggplant in a bowl and mash.
  2. Over medium high heat, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet or wok until shimmering. Then add the ginger, stirring for less than a minute to make certain it does not burn. Add the salt and hing, coriander, garam marsala, cumin, cayenne, stirring for one minute. Sprinkle some water around the edges of the pan, scraping the bits that stick.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir, then add the mashed eggplant and cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the jalapeno and add half the cilantro. Squeeze the lemon over the mixture and give a final stir.
  5. Plate the eggplant then sprinkle with the rest of the cilantro. Offer and serve hot. Enjoy!

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