I love eggplant. It can be a tricky vegetable to cook, but when it’s cooked properly it is delicious. I went a bit eggplant crazy the other day at the grocery store because the eggplants looked so good. I still have some leftover that I need to figure out what to do with before they go bad! After searching the internet for eggplant recipes and not finding anything that really suited my mood, I decided to try my hand at making baingan bharta, an Indian eggplant dish I often order at Indian restaurants. I love eggplant parmesan just as much as anybody but I was in the mood for something more exotic. I’ve been experimenting a lot with cooking Indian food, and although not everything I make has turned out well (I had a bit of a disaster the other day with some spiced stuffed peppers I made), I am learning which spices go well together and so I figured I’d give this eggplant dish a whirl. I’m glad I did, because it came out quite well!
1/4 cup of oil
2 medium sized eggplants
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 onions diced
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of grated ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
salt and pepper
Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
1. First, you will need to prepare the eggplant. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Coat the outside of the eggplant in olive oil and add them to a baking dish. Roast the eggplants whole for 45 minutes, turning about halfway through. Remove from the oven and let the eggplant cool completely. Using your hands, gently peel away the skin of the eggplant and discard the skin. Chop of the eggplant on a cutting board and set to the side.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and sautee for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and grated ginger and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
4. Next, add add all the spices (garam masala, cumin seeds, cumin powder, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne). Stir and cook 1-2 minutes.
5. Add in the diced tomatoes and chopped eggplant and stir and cook for another 5 minutes until everything is nicely combined and heated through. Taste for seasonings and add in more salt or pepper as needed.
6. Turn off the heat and add in the chopped cilantro. Serve in bowls with a dollop of Greek yogurt, an extra sprinkling of cilantro and garlic naan on the side.