Baingan Bharta

This is a fantastic side dish for a Indian feast. My mum discovered it in the beautifully designed Tasting India cookbook by Christine Manfield (which is a recipe book that is well worth buying for any Indian food lover!). Her recipe requires the dish to be served at room temperature, but some Indian family friends adapted the recipe for my mum with some slight tweaks here and there as well as the addition of turmeric.

Some recipes includes cumin, but I think it tastes much fresher without.

This method requires the aubergines to charred on a flame. I do this by resting it on my gas hob, but if you don’t have a gas cooker, you could pop the aubergines on a BBQ or simply put them in the oven whole for about 40 minutes, or under the grill.

Ingredients

2 aubergines
1 small red onion
3 ripe tomatoes
Salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 lime

Method

Finely slice the onions and tomatoes into little chunks and put in a pan. Don’t put the pan on the heat for the time being. Add the juice of one lime, a good grind of salt, and half a teaspoon of turmeric and set aside while you char the aubergines. The reason this is left to sit is so the acid from the lime reduces the raw onion taste.

While the onion and tomato mixture is resting, put the aubergines on the gas flames of your cooker, turning occasionally until the skin of the aubergine is charred and blackened. The flesh of the aubergine should begin to sag when it is ready – make sure you char it evenly across the whole aubergine making sure it is all properly cooked. Once it is all blackened, set aside to cool a little before carefully removing the skin. Take your time and make sure no little bitter black bits of skin remains on the flesh. Then, simply chop up the flesh of the aubergines before adding them to the onion and tomato mixture. Turn the heat on and cook for about five minutes, before adding a handful of chopped coriander before you serve.

Baingan Bharta

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