In Indian cooking, the word “Bharta” (pronounced Bhurr-taah) refers to dishes into which ingredients are roughly mashed. Bhartas are largely North Indian cooking. This version of Bharta is really easy to make. Serve it with a whole wheat Paratha. I just buy a frozen Paratha and pan fry it without oil.
- 3 medium-sized eggplants (roughly 500gms/ 1 pound)
- 2 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
- 1 tbsp garlic paste or garlic chopped very fine
- 1″ piece of ginger grated fine
- 2 green chillies (optional but they give the Bharta a nice kick!)
- 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (see link below for recipe to make your own)
- 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh green coriander
- Roast on a gas cooktop by just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on low setting. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself!
- Grill in your oven grill or on your barbecue grill. Again, keep turning periodically till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.
- ‘Roast’ in your oven till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft.
Once the eggplant is roasted, allow to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin. Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside for later use.
- Now set up a pan on medium heat and add the cooking oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.
- Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.
- Now add the eggplant and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and stir. Cook another minute and turn off the heat.
- Serve hot with whole wheat Paratha.