Royal Eggplant (Baingan Bharta)

Another recipe adapted from a recipe in The Indian Vegetarian cookbook by Neelam Batra (see also the diced potatoes and tomatoes recipe). The original calls for 4 jalapenos (!!). I use one medium jalapeno; any more and we can barely eat it, it's so spicy. Shown here with Munira's yummy roti!


2 medium eggplants (1 pound each)
2 T canola oil
1 T cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T (1 inch) minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 C red onion, chopped 
1 1/2 C fresh tomato, chopped or 1 can diced
1/2 - 1 C chopped cilantro
1 small hot green or red pepper
Optional: 1 cup fresh peas

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg


Wash the eggplant and poke holes in it with a fork. Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let cool. Puree in a food processor. (This can be done the day before and stored.)

Saute cumin seeds in oil until they sizzle. Stir in garlic and ginger, then onion and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, 5-7 minutes. 

Add the tomato and cilantro, and cook until liquid from the tomato evaporates, another 10 minutes. Mix in the spices, then add the mashed eggplant. Add fresh peas if using them. 

Reduce to low and cook for 15-20 min, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a dish and garnish with cilantro. Serve with naan and/or rice.

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