Mashed Eggplant and Tomato Curry

Baingan bharta is a traditional Indian curry and translates into “mashed eggplant”. This delicious curry beautifully melds the smoky undertones of the eggplant and the tangy tomato. It’s perfect for fall weather! The recipe if fairly simple to make. In the olden days, the eggplant would be roasted on an open fire but these days, it may be simpler to make it in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant (2 medium sized)
  • Onion (1 small, finely chopped)
  • Tomato (1 large, finely chopped)
  • Jalapeno (1 medium sized, de-seeded and finely chopped)
  • Cilantro (1/2 a cup, finely chopped)
  • Garlic (4-5 cloves, minced)
  • Ginger (1 teaspoon, freshly ground)
  • Tomato paste (1 teaspoon)
  • Mustard seed (1 teaspoon)
  • Cumin seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Turmeric (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Recipe (4 servings):

  1. You have two options to cook the eggplant. You can roast it on the flame of a gas stove burner, which is what we did. Or you can roast it in the oven, which is what we wish we had done! The stove top works but it made a mess and honestly not worth it. I recommend chopping the eggplant into 1/2 inch circles, coating with olive oil, and then roasting it in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 425 degrees. At the very end, change the oven setting to broil (2-3 minutes) and turn the oven off once the skin is blackened/charred. Let the eggplant cool and then remove the skin. Once you’ve removed the skin, you can then mash the eggplant and put aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and toast them for about 30-45 seconds. Next add the turmeric and the garlic and cook for about a minute. Stir frequently! Add the onion next and cook until softened (about 4-5 minutes). Add the jalapeno (set a couple of pieces aside for garnish). Next, add the ginger and the tomato paste, followed by the tomatoes. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, you may need to turn the heat down to medium at this point. Lastly add the mashed eggplant and stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and garnish with cilantro.
  3. Serve a generous portion and top with extra cilantro and jalapeno for garnish.

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