Friday, January 18, 2013

Baingan Bhartha

Stir-Fried Eggplants & Peas

When we lived in Defense Colony in New Delhi, there was a dhaba in the corner of our street.  The vegetarian dishes there were wholesome, but some non-vegetarian dishes were very rich. This eggplant preparation was a favorite and something the whole family enjoyed.  It is very simple to make and requires that large eggplants be roasted prior to mashing and cooking. I had oriental eggplant which, as suggested by my niece, I chopped instead of roasting.  The next time, I will chop the oriental eggplant in much smaller pieces so that they practically disintegrate during the slow cooking process.



4 large oriental eggplants, chopped finely
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds or shah jeera
2 green chilies, chopped fine
3 large onions, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. garlic paste
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 medium Roma tomatoes, chopped fine  
½ tsp. coriander powder
¼ tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. garam masala powder
¼ tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped fine
1 tsp. ghee



1.    Sputter cumin seeds and chopped chilies in hot oil over medium-high heat.
2.    Add onions and stir-fry until soft and translucent.
3.    Add garlic, ginger and tomato pastes and stir-fry for a minute.
4.    Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomatoes and powdered spices.
5.    Stir well and cook until oil resurfaces.
6.    Add eggplant pieces, stir, cover and simmer again until oil resurfaces.
7.    Stir in frozen peas, cover and cook until peas are cooked.
8.    Garnish with sugar, cilantro and ghee and cook for another minute or two.
9.    Serve hot with cooked basmati rice or chapatis.