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An Indian “bharta” (i.e. mash) of boiled potatoes and roasted eggplant cooked with a delicious five-spice mix. A great side dish with chapatis and raita.
1. Roast the eggplant in your oven or over a gas burner. I do it this way: brush oil over the whole eggplant. Place it directly over the gas burner on medium-low heat. Keep turning the eggplant around every minute or two, taking care that all sides get done evenly and no side burns. Stop when the skin looks black and brittle all over.
2. Take the eggplant off the flame and allow it to cool to room temperature. Peel the skin off gently – the skin should crack and fall away when touched. Dip your hands in water if it gets messy.
3. Deseed the eggplant if you don’t like the seeds (I don’t!) – the seeds are in clustered strips inside, make a split in the eggplant and rip the seed strips off. What remains is juicy roasted pulp. Mash it and keep ready for use.
4. Mash the preboiled potatoes.
5. In a pan, heat the oil. Gently slide in the panch phoron when the oil turns hot. The seeds will crackle and begin to turn color in a few seconds. At this stage, stir in the ginger, garlic and finely chopped green chilies. After a minute, add chopped tomatoes, salt, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
With the back of your spatula, mash the tomatoes in the pan and mix in the mashed potatoes. Cover and cook for another couple of minutes. Then stir in in the mashed eggplant. On high flame, cook for two minutes till everything blends well and looks the same color. Sprinkle garam masala at the end and mix.
6. Serve hot. With chapatis, dal and raita.
- Panch phoron would be available in Indian grocery stores. If not, cumin and mustard seeds should be easier to get hold of, and you can use those two instead of the full five.
- The oil used in this dish is traditionally mustard oil. In case you don’t like its flavour or don’t have it in your kitchen, substitute any other vegetable oil.
This is a stick-to-your-ribs, warm-you-up, side dish. This is not the conventional creamed spinach recipe that calls for tons of butter and cheese, it is low-fat and delicious. What is also great about this recipe is that it is a total “pantry” dish that is a quick go-to on a busy day.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!