Daniel’s favorite Indian meal is Baingan Barta, an eggplant dish. We had made my favorite dish, Palak Paneer, before, but wanted some variety. This one was not as easy to make, the eggplants had to be roasted and gutted before you could even start cooking. It was also under-seasoned, we added a lot more of all the spices. In the end, it was really good. It was made up of big pieces of vegetables, unlike the Palak Paneer which is pureed, giving them a good contrast.
Roasted Eggplant Masala [Baingan Barta]
from Vegan Eats World
-2.5 lbs Asian or globe eggplant, whole and unpeeled
-2 tbsp coconut oil or canola oil
-1 tsp black mustard seeds [we used 1 tsp mustard powder]
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 large onion, peeled and chopped
-2 - 3 green hot chile peppers, seeds removed if desired and minced
-1 + 1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
-1 cup chopped tomatoes or 2 large plum tomatoes, cored and finely diced
-3/4 tsp salt
-1 tbsp lime juice
-1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Poke eggplants all over with a fork, place on baking sheet, and roast 20 - 30 mins until the skin is heavily wrinkled and the eggplant can be easily pierced with a knife.
2. Remove from oven and cut a slit down each eggplant to allow some steam to escape. When cool enough to handle, spread eggplant open and use a large metal spoon to scoop out all the flesh. Heat it on a cutting board and roughly chop. Discard the skins.
3. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat until it ripples and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cover the pan as soon as the seeds pop.
4. When the popping almost stops, uncover the skillet, stir in garlic, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Stir in onions and chiles and fry for 3 mins or until onions are softened, then stir in coriander, cumin, and turmeric [and mustard powder, if using instead of seeds], and stir fry for 30 seconds.
5. Add eggplant, tomatoes, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 6 - 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. The eggplant should look juicy and bubbling.
6. Stir in lime juice, taste, and season with more salt or lime juice.
7. Turn off heat and cool for 5 mins, then transfer to a wide, deep serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro and serve with bread or rice.