BM # 60
Week : 1 , Day: 2
Theme: Regional Cuisine
Region : Punjab
Continuing the Regional Theme for Day 2 , I have Baingan Bharta , typical Punjabi style. Baingan or Eggplants as they are popularly called all over the world, have a wide range . We get to see white, green, light purple, dark purple, and then they are in various shapes too, from small to big.
For Baingan Bharta we need the purple big sized baingans , and while buying these, make sure they are not very heavy. The heavy ones are always full of seeds and you will definitely not enjoy a seeded bharta .In olden days when they used to cook on coal, the Brinjals were roasted on coal, but now we roast them on the open flame of gas.
Once these are roasted, and the skin is charred , let them cool before removing the charred skin. After removing the skin, I normally wash the meat from these brinjals, because the charred skin kind of clings and should be removed. Once the basic preparation is done , it's simple to cook the bharta.
Did I tell you I used to love eggplants, but suddenly developed allergy and am off these now. I cook for the family and love the aroma from bharta. I always keep some coal at home, I place it on the flame , make it red hot and place it in the dish, add some hot ghee or oil and quickly cover it, so the smoke is trapped. This lends a amazing smoky flavor to the dish.
The smoky bharta is typically Punjabi, I have a Gujju version too, but for today I will share the Punjabi one.
1 large eggplant
3 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilly, roughly chopped
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/ 4 tsp garam masala
A piece of coal ( optional )
Smear oil on the brinjal and place it on slow gas flame.
Rotate the brinjal every now and then till completely roasted.
Remove and let cool.
Remove the charred skin.
Carefully remove all the flesh and rinse it, so that all the charred skin separates.
Now heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee.
Add onions, saute till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and Saute further for another minute or two.
Add tomatoes and green chilly.
Cook till all the moisture from tomatoes dries up.
Add the spices and the flesh of Brinjals.
Mix well and mash everything with a potato masher or with a wooden spoon.
Let the bharta simmer till the oil comes up.
Heat the coal on open flame till red hot.
Carefully lifting it with tongs place it on top of the cooked bharta.
Heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee to a smoking point.
Keep a lid handy.
Pour the hot oil or ghee on top of the coal and quickly cover the pan or dish, capturing all the smoke.
Let stand for 3-4 minutes. Open and discard the coal.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.