Baingan Bharta, bepeppered

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On our Sierras trip last weekend, the friends we went with broiled a couple of eggplants as part of their dinner night. I think the intention was to make baba ghanoush. What we were eventually served wasn’t like anything I’ve seen in a Mediterranean deli, but it was absolutely delicious (I think we ate the entire bowl in less than five minutes).

Fast forward to this weekend, when I found myself with a big pot of curry for dinner and an eggplant in the fridge. Remembering the eggplant we’d had last weekend, I decided a broiled and mashed eggplant would be just the thing, only with an Indian spin, rather than the Middle Eastern original.

This recipe is based off one by Mark Bittman that was originally published in the New York Times earlier this summer. I only had about half as many tomatoes as suggested, so I used a red pepper as well, and made a few other small tweaks. I also didn’t bother with peeling the eggplant, but I suspect broiled eggplant skin may be an acquired taste, so feel free to peel yours.

Bhaingan Barta
makes 4 generous servings

Ingredients
2 medium eggplant (about two pounds)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper
4 oz. fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped into approximately 1/2″ dice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons garam masala
salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, thin stems included

Method
1. Pierce the eggplants a few times with a fork, then place in a covered cast-iron pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Turn the eggplant at approximately 5 minute intervals, until the sides of the eggplant are blackening and the eggplant has collapsed and become very soft. Remove eggplant from pan and turn heat down to medium.

2. Add olive oil to pan, saute onion until just beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno, tomatoes, bell pepper, and turmeric. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, until the peppers are just soft but still bright red. Remove from heat.

3. Chop the eggplant into bite sized pieces and transfer to a bowl, use a fork to mash the eggplant with the lime juice and garam masala. Mix in the onion, tomato, and pepper mixture, salt to taste. Finally, mix in the cilantro.

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One possible serving suggestion: with chickpea and vegetable curry, cauliflower rice pilaf, sauteed cabbage and kale.

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2 thoughts on “Baingan Bharta, bepeppered

  1. Wow! Looks delicious! I eat gluten free and mostly dairy free… so it’s great to see foods that accommodate to that! Thanks for the post 🙂

    1. Thanks! We aren’t completely dairy or gluten free but a lot of my cooking seems to gravitate in that direction, so I hope you find a few things on here that you like!

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