Baingan ka Bharta…Bold, Smoky, Earthy, Spicy… A Bow to my Punjabi roots! This Classic is sure to win over even those who are not too crazy about baingan!
Rub Baingan with oil. Roast them on open flame till skin is charred black on all sides. Cool and remove charred skin and chop roughly. Save all juices that seep out of the roasted Baingan. The juices have much of the smoky flavor that is the unique characteristic of this dish!
Heat oil, add jeera, thinly sliced onions, chopped ginger and garlic and saute till light brown. Add the roasted chopped baingan along with its juices and saute on medium low for another 6-8 minutes or till it starts coming together.
Now add the crushed tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder, haldi cover & cook on medium low till the tomatoes melt into the dish. Remove cover, add thinly sliced ginger and slit green chillies (optional) cook for another 2-3 minutes till most of the liquid dries and the bharta acquires a rich reddish brown colour. Serve with Tadka daal and kadak Roti/Chawal!
Note: You may add boiled peas to this dish if you like. Just add it along with the crushed tomatoes.
PS: Roasting the baingan in the oven is another option that avoids the mess that is caused by open flame charring on the cooking stove. However I have found that roasting in the oven sometimes affects te color of the bharta…so I favour the traditional stove top way of roasting!