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
- 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.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
- Add a pinch of hing and 1 tsp of cumin/mustard/sesame seeds.
- 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).
- Saute until the onions are light brown.
- Add the eggplant mixture, mix and serve.