Lal Bhaji…Chattisgarhi style, a personal fav!
Courtesy: Our cook back home… Ambika!
I remember as a kid cooking with her in the kitchen….and so desperately waiting for her to say “MAST”…..which came only when the dish came out to her complete satisfaction! Initially when I came to US….it was kind of awkward for me to cook alone….as I was so used to her supervising me in the kitchen 🙂
This bhaji is best enjoyed with steaming hot rice.
Wash, drain and finely slice red bhaji.
Heat oil, add rai, chopped garlic and khadi lal mirch…and burn the chillies slightly. This burnt chaunk adds a smokiness to the dish which is very distinctive.
Add sliced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped eggplant/baingan and cook till soft.
Now gradually add the finely chopped bhaji, adding more, as it shrinks down with the heat, till all the bhaji is incorporated.
Add chopped tomatoes, red chilli pwdr, coriander powder (optional) and salt to taste.
Cover & cook till the tomatoes melt into the bhaji.
Remove cover, cook to reduce juices and concentrate flavors.
However do not make the bhaji too dry, I like to keep the texture moist.