Baked Baingan Bharta – aubergine mash

Mallika Basu - Baked Baingan Bharta – aubergine mash

Posted 29th May 2008

It was bank holiday Monday. I decided to brave lashing winds and non-stop rain in the search for gold heels and a summer party frock. I made my way to the shops, where I would sacrifice common sense and comfort at the alter of high glamour.

Now, I am still grappling with the delights of fashionable clothes shopping. All appropriately sourced and reassuringly expensive. Naturally. So I sneaked a look at the magazine the girl next to me on the train was reading. Floral is in. So are gladiator sandals and one-shoulder things.

But a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It took a few hours of wading through muddy streets looking like a bedraggled tramp, before I emerged triumphant with a hideously high pair of gold mock crock stilettos and a little 50s floral number.

I blame Sex and the City – the movie.

What about Indian cooking, you ask? Well, clearly other pressing things have been on my mind this week.

So I resorted to blog hopping to find a little gem of a recipe for baked Baingan Bharta – a smokey aubergine mash. Normally, I roast the aubergines on an open fire to give it the smokey taste, but this version from Bhags allows you to stick the whole lot in the oven.

It was achingly divine. I ate it in full view of my new wardrobe additions. Sometimes, there’s nothing like a delicious new makeover for a tired old classic.

Feeds 4:

2 large aubergines/eggplants

1 medium onion

2 medium tomatoes

2 tbsp Greek yogurt

4 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger minced

Half tbsp each of mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds

1 green finger chilli, chopped

Half inch turmeric powder

Half inch chilli powder

4 sprigs of fresh coriander

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade. Wash and make two deep gashes on each aubergine. Place them on a baking tray and bake for half an hour.

In the meantime, heat the oil over a high flame. When hot add the seeds and as they sizzle up, add the onions, ginger and garlic.

When the whole mixture is golden brown, add the tomatoes, yogurt, chopped green chilli and masala powders. Keep stirring until the masala is well mixed together. Lower the heat and simmer for five minutes while you take the aubergines out of the oven and peel them carefully with a sharp knife.

The skin should just fall off the aubergines. Now, cut the head off and throw them into the masala, raise the flame to high again and stir viciously with a wooden spoon mashing the aubergines well as you go along.

Add salt to taste and serve with the fresh coriander and some toasted pitta bread.

Comments are closed.