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Monday, August 16, 2010

Grilled/smoked Eggplant (Bharta)

This can be used as side vegetable dish or a dip.

Serving 4-6

1 large eggplant purple or white (or 2 medium)

1 medium onion chopped

4 spring onions chopped

5 each Italian plum (Roma) tomatoes

1 chopped green pepper

2 green onions finely chopped

2-4 each garlic cloves or more, to taste

½ inch piece of ginger grated

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 chopped hot green chili or jalapeno peppers

3-4-table spoon oil

1-teaspoon cumin seeds

1/8 teaspoon Asfoetida

1-teaspoon turmeric

1-2 teaspoon all spice or garam masala

½ teaspoon chili powder

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

¾ cup cilantro leaves chopped for garnish

* Grill the eggplant (lightly oiled) on an open flame, turning it around when skin is should turn completely black. This can be accomplished by simply broiling in oven for 10 min.

(I have also cooked it in microwave for 8 min, but then you don't get the smoked flavor and taste, and also be sure to cut slits in egg plant if you do decide to microwave it to avoid any explosion of eggplant.)

* Cool slightly, peel, mash with a fork, or in food processor.

* Heat oil. Fry cumin seeds, add Asfoetida, then instantly chopped both onions and crushed garlic, sauté, and add half of chopped tomatoes, green onions, green peppers and ginger. Cook for 2-3 min.

* Add mashed eggplant, followed by turmeric, all spice or garam masala, chili powder and hot peppers, salt and pepper, cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes. Let cool slightly and then add lemon/lime juice.

* Garnish with remaining tomatoes and cilantro.

Serve hot with Roti, naan, pita bread or flat bread.

Recipe and Photograph: by Surekha.

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