I am not sure how to put the incident as amusing or something i better forget! But whenever i remember the first time i made baigan ka bharta , i burst out laughing!
Baigan ka bharta is a typical north indian dish. Traditionally its cooked over charcoal embers and that process gives it a very distinct flavour.
When I had this dish at my friend's home, i liked it and decided to make it at home. I was quite young and not at all adept at cooking. I got my father to bring home the large sized brinjal to make this dish. The dish turned out well.
Me and mom were having dinner together and she was enjoying having the bharta so was I. And it was then i noticed that in the bharta were some undesirable things cooked along with it- white worms!
'Dharm Sankat' !! what to do....tell her and spoil her dinner ( no we are not vegetarians but still a worm is a worm :-) ) or keep mum and bask in the glory of having made a good dish (and fervently hope that the creatures don't appear in her plate). Well what do you think i did....? :-)
Coming to the recipe, the normal sized Brinjal/eggplant won't do. It has to be the large rotund purple ones. Something like this
1 Large Brinjal/ Eggplant [It would weigh somewhere between 400-600 grams)
1 Cup finely chopped Onions
1 Cup finely chopped Tomatoes
8 - 10 Thin Cloves of Garlic
1-2 finely chopped Green Chillies
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder [optional]
1 Tbsp finely chopped Corriander leaves.
oil to cook
salt to taste
- Wash and dry the Brinjal/eggplant. Do not cut the top of the eggplant as it can be used to hold it.
- Make random 1/2 inch incision into the eggplant so that the incisions are spread over the entire surface.
- Into the incisions insert the cloves of garlic. Its easier to insert if the cloves are thin . If cloves are thick then they can be cut lenthwise into thinner pieces.
- Now take 1/2 tsp of oil in your palms and coat the surface of the brinjal/eggplant with the oil, just enough to have a thin layer.
- Now place the brinjal/eggplant on a microwaveble dish and micrwave at high for 10 mins.[Alternatively you can use the top to hold the eggplant over the flame of a stove and cook it. But this method is very messy so i do not prefer it.]
- Remove it from the oven and keep it to cool.
- When cooled, remove the skin and slice off the top of the brinjal/eggplant. Mash the cooked, peeled brinjal/eggplant along with the garlic cloves placed inside it.Keep it aside.
- In a wok add 1 Tbsp of oil and saute the onions till they are translucent
- Then add the green chillies, turmeric,salt, red chilly powder. Saute for 2- 3 mins on low flame.
- When done add the tomatoes, mix it and cover it with a lid and let it cook till the tomatoes are fully cooked.(The tomatoes should leave the water and the water should evaporate).
- Now add the mashed brinjal/eggplant to the wok and mix it well.Keep it covered for 2-3 minutes and then remove from the flame.
- Garnish it with chopped corriander leaves before serving. Serve it with Roti/Paratha.