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Aloo Baingan Bharta (Indian Potato-Eggplant Mash)

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Level: Easy

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Description

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.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Eggplant
  • 2 whole Potatoes, Boiled
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Panch Phoron (5 Spice Mix Of Fenugreek Seeds, Nigella Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds And Fennel Seeds)
  • 1 stick Ginger (1 Inch Piece), Minced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 whole Green Chile, Chopped
  • 2 whole Tomatoes, Chopped
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Chili Powder (vary The Quantity According To Taste)
  • ½ teaspoons Garam Masala

Preparation

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.

Notes:
- 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.

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