Monday, March 28, 2011

Begun Bharta - Mashed Smoked Brinjal

“Eeew”, “Eeeks”, ”Yuck” – used to be my reactions when my eyes would spot any food that’s slimy, gooey and the sorts! I would find ripe papaya, tomatoes even brinjals really gross. My mom would place a Brinjal in between the wood logs which were burnt to heat water. She would then delicately remove the smoked skin and mash it with her hand. I would nauseate at the sight of it! I have strongly inherited my Dad’s genes. He also hated to see these mushy food stuffs…

Fate had it that Brinjal was Abbas’s favorite! How was I to use my hand to mash the slimy veggie? Initial months post marriage; I was only the assistant in the kitchen (fortunately). I would only peel and chop. Bhabi (My SIL) used to do all the cooking. Abbas’ passionate love for this veggie tempted me to try it. And there was no looking back after that. I love Brinjal now and I hate using any equipment to do so other than my hand. After all, the personal touch added to any dish alleviates its taste by leaps and bounds!

Just a Trivia here, my Bhabi prepares this dish every Saturday coz it is believed that all evil vibes are burnt along with the Brinjal! Ummi, my niece used to suck the Brinjal’s stem as though it were a lollipop. Whenever I make Brinjal Bharta, Brinjal’s stem refreshes all those beautiful memories of the good times we had together!!!

Brinjal – 1 big
Onion – 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Tomato – 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Green chillies – as per spice tolerance, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Corainder leaves – a handful, finely chopped
Mustard oil – 2 tbsp (Mustard oil is recommended, you could substitute with any other oil)

  1. Make deep incisions on Brinjal and smear mustard oil all over its body.
  2. Smoke it on stove top. This could be done in an oven. But somehow I prefer to burn it in direct fire to get that authentic taste. Keep turning it to ensure its entirely cooked.
  3. Delicately remove the burnt skin. Its easy to remove under running water.
  4. Mash the cooked brinjal with your hand, or a masher.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and sauté till golden brown.
  6. Add tomatoes and sauté till mushy.
  7. Add mashed brinjal, spice powders, green chillies, salt and combine.
  8. Saute well till you get a well combined mass.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Bharta can be made by simply mixing raw onions, green chillies, salt and mustard oil with the mashed Brinjal. This also is delicious.

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  1. Delicious bharta, love it with rotis..

  2. You can give roti n baingan bharta to my man everyday for lunch or dinner and he wouldn't complain for a ..
    My most fav way to eat baingan ..liked your version :)

    US Masala

  3. Perfectly looking curry.Baingan is so special for my H.

  4. I love eggplant in this form, who can resist this delicious dish..looks so tempting and yum!

  5. begun bharta is one of my favorites ! these pics make me drool dear !


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