Baingan means Eggplant in Hindi language. It is also known as Brinjal. There are variety of Eggplants available in markets. Chinese-light purple and long-these have very few seeds and cook faster then other. The ones that are long and dark purple are Italian. Indian eggplants are two types. Small-about the size and shape of an egg- and the large ones as we know. There are other Eggplants available-long ones and dark long ones. We only use the bug ones for this recipe.
This is very popular dish in Indian Cuisine. There are many ways to make this dish- if it done North Indian style, you add onions and tomatoes, South Indian style is different also but I am showing you the Gujarati style Baingan Bharta – It is called Ollo ( L is pronounced as L) in Gujarati. Farmers make this dish more often as eggplants are easily available and it can be cooked in a bulk. They did not have Ovens so they were roasted on open fire. This is also a very special Village meal Rotla-a thick flat Bread made from Millet- and Ollo in a farm. The eggplant is roasted on open wood fire pot made with clay. The Eggplants can be roasted on BBQ. The process of removing the skin becomes cumbersome. i use the easy and time saving method. Roast them in the oven. .You can add the spices and hotness to your liking.
A very similar dish is also made in the Middle Eastern Countries. You can also find ready roasted Eggplants with skin removed in Jars in the Middle Eastern Market-it already has salt as preservative, so please taste it before you add salt.
For making thos recipe in very short time, people use the ready available in the Store.
In this recipe, we are only using the large eggplants- lighter -in weight and color, the better as these do not have so many seeds.
Eggplants will become dark if kept open cut. So the key is to cook them right away. Some people tell me to sprinkle salt , some tell me to put them in water. I have tried to put a little lemon juice in water and then put the cut pieces in it and it seems to stay good without becoming dark for a while. It would be good to put some lemon juice any time you use Eggplant. It helps. You should cook the Eggplants as quick as possible. This dish can be Vegan-just do not use Yogurt.
You can add more spices or reduce per your taste.
Baingan Bharta- Roasted Spicy Eggplants- Vegan
Cut Eggplants lengthwise-cut of a portion of the tip but keep some.
Oil both side and out them upside down in a foil lined Cookie sheet
Cook them in the oven for 30 to 35 Minutes. Check the Eggplants-Try pressing them down gently-they should be soft. Take them out of the oven-make sure to turn off the Oven.
While the Eggplants are roasting, prepare the trey with chopped Onions Garlic, Ginger, Cilantro etc and another plate with Cumin Seeds, Black Mustard, Curry leaves etc.
Scoop them with a spoon as shown holding the top
Scoop all four pieces and add a Teaspoon Lemon juice and mix so the color does not turn dark
With a knife gently cut across to chop them
Heat the rest of the oil and add the spices , garlic, ginger and curry leaves
Add the eggplants, Green onions, cilantro etc.
Mix well and add yogurt just before serving- This optional.