Masala Art Indian Cooking Recipe of the Week: Baigan Bhartha

BAIGAN BHARTHA

Serves: 6 to 8

2 large eggplants  (1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 bay leaf

3 medium onions, finely chopped

3 tomatoes finely chopped

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon dried coriander

1 /2 Teaspoon garam masala

3 Tablespoon tomato sauce (Hunts)

Chopped fresh coriander for garnish

Using a pair of tongs or a long handled fork, hold the eggplant by the stem over an open flame to char the skin. When skin blackens, place eggplant on a plate to cool. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and place the pulp in a medium bowl. Mash it with a fork until it is puréed.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in heavy pan over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion, cumin seeds and bay leaf.  Sauté until the onions are golden brown. Add chopped tomatoes, chili powder, garam masala, dried coriander and salt to taste. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes are soft.  Add the tomato sauce and the puréed eggplant and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until eggplant and spices are well-blended. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with chapati bread.

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