Meatless Monday - Baingan Ka Bharta

For the last three years I've been working to clean up my diet.  I used to drink 3-4 32 oz McDonald’s Sweet Tea every day.  That’s over 300 calories per drink.  I was taking in over 1200 calories a day just in Tea.

Today the only beverage I drink is water all day and a green smoothie every other day.  I don’t eat processed foods at all and I am a vegetarian.  I do eat eggs and milk products so I’m considered Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian.

Before I became vegetarian I was very picky about my food.  I wouldn't try anything that looked too ‘strange’ or ‘different’ from what I was used to eating. That meant lots of fried food, lots of junk food and lots of drive through. One thing I never ate as a child was eggplant.   I never really even knew what an eggplant was until I was an adult, and never tasted one before a year ago.  Shocking I know.

One dish I tried recently is Baingan Ka Bharta.  Bharta is a smoky eggplant dish that uses cumin, onion and tomatoes to create a curry that can be served with rice and/or Naan.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Ingredients
1 eggplant
4 tbsp. oil (Canola, Sunflower or Olive) 2 for the eggplant and 2 for sautéing the garlic & onion
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 large onion – chopped fine
1 tbsp. garlic – chopped fine
1” piece of ginger root – grated fine
1 green chili (remove most of the seeds – seeds = heat)
1 tomato – chopped fine
½ tsp. coriander powder
½ tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. garam masala powder
1 glass of wine - add to chef throughout the cooking process


Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Process
Start out by preparing the eggplant to roast by cutting it lengthwise and scoring the inside of the flesh in a diamond pattern.  Add salt and olive oil to the top and place skin side down in a baking dish.  Place in 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the flesh pulls away from the skin easily.  Scoop out and set aside.


Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Get a large pan on medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add cumin seeds to the hot oil and cook until they stop sputtering.


Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson



Add the onions and cook until clear then add the garlic and ginger and fry for about a minute. 

Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Next add the finely diced tomatoes and all the remaining powdered spices.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes and stir constantly to avoid the mixture from sticking.



Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson


Finally add the eggplant and cook for about another minute.
Serve over rice and/or with Naan.


Photo Credit - Renee Olson


This dish was pretty good.  We tried it several times adjusting the recipe.  Remember to remove most of the seeds from your chilies if you want to be milder in flavor.  I used only one and it was still a bit spicy. 

A lot of traditional Indian and Thai dishes call for ginger.  I recommend getting a fresh ginger root and keeping it on your counter.  You can always use it to make Crystallized Ginger Candy which is great for digestion!

Have questions?  Have a recipe you’d like me to try?  Feel free to leave a comment here or email me at sosanna@sosannascloset.com.

Namaste & Blessed Be
Sosanna
)O(

Renee Olson

Wife, Witch with the Metal Skills of a Dark Elf. I spend my time working with wire, weaving life and magic.

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