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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Smoked Eggplant Relish: Baingan Bartha

With texture similar to Baba Ghanouj, smokiness close to Chutta Kathrikkai Pachadi, and flavor that is rich and deep, Baingan (eggpant) Bartha is a side dish that takes center stage every time I make it.

The recipe here is tweaked to suit my taste: the masala paste can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Use it to make chicken curry or my favotire cauliflower korma.

2 long eggplant, roasted, finely chopped or mashed
¼ tsp Tamicon® tamarind paste
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Masala paste:
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp grated ginger
½ tsp poppy seeds (khus-khus from Indian stores)
1-inch piece Indian cinnamon bark
2 -3 dry red chilies
1 tsp coriander powder
1/3 cup stewed tomatoes
½ medium yellow onions, chopped

optional: tempering with cumin and mustard seeds

  1. Combine the ingredients for masala paste and blend to a fine smooth paste
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the masala paste, tamarind, mashed roasted eggplant, a pinch of salt, cover and allow to simmer over medium low heat
  3. Add a few tablespoon of water as needed to continue simmering till flavors meld, about 20 minutes
  4. Serve warm with naan or roti or basmati rice

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