I asked for good vegetable recipes, and you, my lovely readers, delivered. This gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian recipe comes via my foodie friend LeftyProf.
Vineeta’s (LeftyProf’s sis-in-law’s) Baingan Bharta
1 lb. Indian eggplant (these are small, bulbous eggplant, smaller than the size of an apple). Alternatively, you might use purple Chinese eggplant, the long, thin variety.
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3-4 medium tomatoes, diced (about the same volume as the onion)
A 3-inch piece of fresh ginger root, finely julienned
6 fresh Indian green chillies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
1. First, brush the eggplants lightly with oil, or spritz them with cooking spray. Roast each eggplant over a low open flame, turning constantly, until the outer skin is charred and nearly falling off. The smoky flavor of the charred skin should seep into the flesh of the eggplant as it softens. When fully roasted, set them aside, and allow to cool. Extract the pulp of each eggplant, and discard the charred skin.
2. In a pan, heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and add the sliced onions. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown, then thrown in the ginger. Continue to sauté until the mixture becomes a mellow golden brown. Then add the green chillies and stir for a minute more.
3. Add the tomatoes and the eggplant, mash the whole thing together with the back of a spoon, cover and simmer. Add salt and cook until done, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Garnish with chopped cilantro and salt to taste.
Serve with any Indian bread—best with chapatis or rotis.