Curried Eggplant (Baigan Ka Bhurta)
Bhurta is just a name for mashed vegetables in the South Asian subcontinent. The most popular being eggplant. But Bhurta can be made using any vegetable (potato, bottle gourd, etc).
Usually a cook down of the staple garlic, ginger, tomato and onions then mixed with some kind of roasted vegetable. For extra flavor many Bhurtas get a form of “beghar” also known as a spiced oil at the beginning or end which is optional. Usually a mixture of mustard seeds, curry leaves and occasionally Fenugreek seeds.
Here’s my favorite way of making it and one my 21 month old absolutely loves!
1 large or 6 sm eggplant 3 to 4 fresh garlic (sliced)
2 tbsp oil of choice
1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
5 to 6 curry leaves (optional)
1 heaped tsp garlic/ginger paste
1 bunch green onions (chopped)
2 med tomatoes (sliced thinly)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1 serrano pepper (optional)
chopped cilantro to garnish
Start by poking slits into your eggplant on a foil lined baking sheet.
Add slices of your garlic cloves in the slits.
Spray or brush your eggplant with some oil.
Roast your eggplant on 400’F for 20 to 30 mins depending on the size of your eggplant.
You want it to become soft and wrinkly.
Meanwhile, chop up your green onions and tomatoes and set aside. Heat the oil and add your mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they start to sizzle add your green onions and garlic ginger paste.
Once those are translucent and fragrant add your tomatoes and spices. Give it all a mix, cover and let tomatoes soften. By this time your eggplant may be done.
Peel the roasted eggplant and discard the skin.
Roughly chop the peeled eggplant (it’s ok if it seems mashed). Once tomatoes soften add eggplant flesh. Mix, turn heat to low, squeeze in the lemon juice, top with cilantro and Serrano pepper if desired, cover and steam for 5 minutes. Enjoy as a dip or with a side of freshly made roti or naan (flatbread).