If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that growing up I was not an eggplant fan. So why am I posting 2 recipes (Baba Ghanouj and this one) with eggplant within a month? They became a part of my adult life and I learned what I was missing out on.
I’m not sure about the timeline but I do remember maybe a few months after I got married, we had gone down to see my in-laws for the weekend. Mom had made baingan bharta and I was trying to be nice so I ate it without telling her I was not a big fan of eggplant. It was ingrained in me since I was a kid that you ate what you got, especially at someone else’s house without a fuss. Man am I thankful for that specific rule!
Though I took maybe only about a tablespoon’s worth (and spread it out so my MIL wouldn’t notice – yep…. totally resorting to childhood antics), baingan bharta became a new favorite of mine. Since then, I have tried it at various restaurants and at home but nothing compares to the way my MIL makes it. This recipe is hers and I’m excited to share it.
Try to pick eggplants with fewer seeds as this will give you more flesh and will be less bitter. Male eggplants tend to have fewer seeds and to tell the difference, at the bottom of the eggplant, there will be an indentation. If it is deep and shaped like a dash, the eggplant is female, if it is shallow and round, it is a male.
If you do end up with an eggplant with more seeds, after roasting the eggplant, don’t skin it right away. Let the eggplants sit on a tray and continue steaming to soften the seeds.
You can store the roasted eggplant in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
From my Mother-in-Law’s kitchen to yours, we hope you enjoy this one!
Baingan Bharta (Punjabi Eggplant)
- 4 large eggplants, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 large onions, diced
- 3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 Serrano peppers, sliced lengthwise into quarters (adjust to spice level)
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp curry leaves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to spice level)
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
- In a large, heavy bottom skillet, heat oil over medium flame. Add in cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter
- Add in the onions, serranos and curry leaves and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring often
- The onions should turn translucent and the oil should start separating from them
- Add in the coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes to let the spices blend in
- Add in half the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes
- Add in the other half of the chopped tomatoes and the tomato sauce and mix well.
- Add in the salt and mix well
- Add in the roasted eggplant and mix well. Reduce heat to low flame and cook for another 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally
- Crush the kasoori methi between your palm and add in to the bharta. Turn off heat, mix well
- Garnish with cilantro
- Serve hot with naan or roti
© 2021 Copyright A Li\'l Bit of Spice
Growing up, I was never a fan of eggplant. I’m not sure if it was the seeds, the flavor, or the way it was cooked but I just didn’t take to it. So imagine my surprise when I went out to a Mediterranean restaurant with some friends and ended up loving my first bite of Baba Ghanouj!
Yep. It was love at first taste!
The smoky flavor, the silky texture, and a guilt free snack all rolled into one. What’s not to love?
Roasted or Grilled?
I personally love it grilled either over the stove or especially on a bbq, The flavor of the char stays in every bite which totally makes this recipe so amazing.
How do you eat it?
Baba Ghanouj is usually served as an appetizer with pita bread and crudités. I have on occasion been known to add it to a Falafel bowl if I’m in the mood. It tastes really delish!
This particular recipe is made without tahini, which is a sesame seed paste traditionally used to make baba ghanouj and hummus. I did add a lot of garlic and some cayenne and smoked paprika to enhance the smoky flavor.
food processor or by hand?
Honestly, both work but I prefer my food processor as it gets the job done quicker and I prefer a smoother texture.
Go ahead and try it out! This recipe will not disappoint!
- 2 large eggplants
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 c olive oil, plus extra to coat the eggplant
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- Pierce eggplant multiple times with a knife.
- Coat both eggplants with oil.
- Place over high flame or on bbq.
- Roast until eggplant is tender and skin is falling off. Turn every 3-4 minutes while it is roasting to cook evenly.
- Once it's done roasting, cool slightly then rub skin off with a paper towel.
- Transfer flesh to processor and add in the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Blend until you get a smooth texture (about 1 minute)
- Transfer to bowl and serve with pita bread and crudités!
© 2021 Copyright A Li\'l Bit of Spice