Thursday

Baingan Bharta-Vangyache Bharit-Eggplant Mush

Hello hello hello!!! I am back from a small vacation to the beach. After many years of running away and finding excuses to not get in the water, I finally had to give in. We are a bunch of super excited friends, who make such plans like renting condos on the beach or camping in truly American style, Although I am not so sure of how I do qualify in the excited group, as I get tired watching other person run, jog or even throw a pitch. I am a set of laziest bones I have come across. I mean why stress with packing unpacking cleaning the sand off the clothes and toys, when you can just relax by couching in the nice cold A/C living room. But no longer, I guess the laziness is shedding and I am getting to enjoy the rush of the waves and floating in salty water just as much as them.

I am blessed with a few but very nice friends, who not only care for me, but also correct me without hesitation. I do not have to tell them if I had a bad day or bad week. If Mr. Ash is traveling and am a single parent, I automatically get food dropped off at my home. No Gift is better than food gift on  a tiring day. This dish is one of such gift that I received from my friend K. She made this bharta or eggplant mush, not by roasting but cooking the eggplant in  a pressure cooker. This technique was obviously new for me, that I had to get the exact recipe from her. Mr. Ash loves eggplant mush, but the mess roasting the eggplant makes on the gas range pushes me off from making it. I tried broiling it covered in foil, roasting it in the oven, but the taste is never there. Ultimately I stopped making this. Until, K introduced me to this way of making the mush. When I ate it the first time, the eggplant was so soft and it almost melted in my mouth; I sincerely doubted if it was eggplant that she used or something else. So if that someone who dislikes eggplant is listening, do make this once for me.


You will need;
1 Medium eggplant - get the fatter and slightly bigger eggplant from the market; not the small ones or long thin ones.
1 small tomato diced
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tspn each ginger and garlic paste or chopped very fine
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp mix of cumin and coriander powder
salt to taste
1/2 tspn Sugar optional

Tempering
1 tbspn oil
1/2 mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi
pinch of hing/ aesofodita

In a cooker vessel, peel and chop the eggplant into dices and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. cool and mush around. In a wok, heat the oil, add the tempering ingredients one after the other, once the seeds sizzle, add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes till they sweat, then add the tomatoes, ginger and garlic and let the mix cook, till oil starts separating from the sides. Then add in the eggplant mush, Garam masala, Cayenne pepper powder and salt and sugar if needed. Let the mix cook till the mush and the masala gets incorporated, cover with lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with onions and cilantro. I like to add a dash of lemon juice while eating, but again it's completely up to you. We have had this as  a dip with some pita chips like a Babaganoush, or even as a filing in a wrap. Personally, I love this with simple varan bhat tup mith and limbu( Translated as rice, dal, ghee, salt and lime)



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