Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This recipe for bharta (eggplant) is an excellent example of a style of cooking dominant in Indian cuisine. If you examine the list of ingredients below, you'll notice that the recipe requires twice as many spices as other ingredients! For a novice to Indian cooking, this can be quite intimidating. But I guarantee that after a few attempts to cook different Indian dishes, you'll start feeling more and more comfortable with those spices, and you might even find yourself tempted to experiment with them a bit.


  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 5 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
  • 5 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of hing 
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1/2 tsp hot red pepper powder 
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric


  1. In the hot water simmer the eggplants for about 10 minutes. When soft, drain the water, mash the eggplant, and add the crushed roasted peanuts and the fresh chopped cilantro.
  2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. 
  3. Add a pinch of hing and 1 tsp of cumin/mustard/sesame seeds. 
  4. When the seeds pop, add the chopped onions and all the other spices (1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp hot red pepper powder, 1/4 tsp tumeric).
  5.  Saute until the onions are light brown. 
  6. Add the eggplant mixture, mix and serve.