Andrea and I had a wonderful eggplant dish in Istanbul at an indian restaurant named Dubb. Loved it, loved it, loved it! After much searching, we think we may have found the recipe. This blog entry charts our attempt at duplicating the beloved Dubb taste treat. Wearing our new aprons (given to us by Eric and Chris), we forged ahead into uncharted gastronomic territory.
Punjabi Baingan Bharta is just one of the several versions of eggplant bharta there are in Indian cooking. The word ‘bharta’ (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables. This recipe serves 4.
- 3 medium-sized eggplants (roughly 500gms/ 1 pound)
- 2 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
- 1 tbsp garlic paste or garlic chopped very fine
- 1″ piece of ginger grated fine
- 2 green chillies or other hot stuff
- 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh green coriander
For this recipe, Andrea ground all the spices for an heavenly, aromatic garam masala from scratch. Worth it just for the scents!
Baingan Ka Bharta requires that the eggplant be roasted, and by roasted, I mean charred and left on the grill long past when you think you should remove them. Roast on a gas cooktop or a BBQ by just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on med-low setting. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself.
Once the eggplant is roasted, allow it to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin.
Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside for later use.
Now set up a pan on medium heat and add the cooking oil.
When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.
Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.
Add the tomato and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.
Now add the eggplant and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and stir.
Cook another minute and turn off the heat.
Serve hot with chapitis or Rice and your favorite daal dish.
It is good! I don’t think we quite captured Dubb’s unique flavours, our our version is very tasty.