Don’t we all love homemade food especially that cooked by our mums. Nothing can beat the flavour of mum’s cooked meals which were always full of so much affection and warmth.
When we move out, this is certainly something we all miss the most. I can still sense the same aroma whenever I think of my most loved dishes especially her Suji ka Halwa and Capsicum Paneer.
Many of her dishes were really popular among our friends and family. From what I know and what she shared with me, she didn’t know the ABC of cooking when she got married and my dad just ate whatever she cooked, without complaining. It was only when my Daadi (Grandmother) tasted her food that she realized it. My daadi also helped her with simple basic techniques of cooking and hence, many of my mum’s recipes, do have my daadi’s touch too. With time, her cooking has evolved so much and she loves experimenting with food and some of her recipes are awesome.
Although I am not a big fan of cooking, I do cook for my family and friends. Some of my recipes are an exact copy of my mum’s recipes and ‘Baingan ka Bharta’ (mashed aubergine or eggplant) is one of them. I still remember that her ‘Bharta’ was a favourite of many of our family friends and whenever I have made it using her recipe, even I have been able to get some praise.
‘Baingan ka Bharta’ is primarily made up of roasted aubergines (eggplant), tomatoes and onions. It is comparable to ‘baba ghanoush’, which is a very popular Lebanese appetizer. Before making the Bharta, the eggplant is grilled over fire which infuses a smoky flavour to the dish and gives it a distinct taste. Once they are smoked, the skin is removed and it is cooked in oil along with onions, tomatoes, coriander, and salt and red chilli powder. With just 7 simple ingredients, it is a very simple yet flavourful dish to serve to your family as a part of your standard meal or even as a side dish for your guests.
Even though it is a popular dish and is cooked in many homes, its taste varies from household to household. Some of the essential tips or tricks that I have learnt from my mum are:
- The eggplant needs to be grilled to the right level (under cooking or overlooking influences its taste and flavour to a great extent)
- The quantity of tomatoes and onions is key in this recipe (Less tomatoes mean a pale colour and if you add the right quantity of tomatoes and onions you will have the perfect colour and sweetness)
- Do not roast the egg plant in oven or microwave. Roast/Grill on an open flame to give a distinct aromatic flavour to the dish.
- Another tip I learnt from my mum was to choose lighter Baingan as heavier ones may have ripe seeds which will affect the taste of your Bharta.
Here’s a simple Recipe for you:
Serving Size: 3 to 4
Eggplants/Aubergine – 2 medium sized
Onions – 3 medium sized (finely chopped)
Tomatoes – 5 (chopped)
Oil – 2 Tsp
Coriander Leaves (Chopped) – Half Cup
Boiled Peas- 1 cup (optional)
Salt – To taste
Red Chilli powder – To taste
- Wash and pat dry the aubergines.
- Roast it on an open flame tossing and turning to make sure it is evenly cooked. [It should be completely cooked and tender. You can use a knife to check if it done]
- Remove it from the flame and let it cool down.
- Peel/ Remove the skin and mash it using a fork.
- Heat the oil in a karahi or a pan.
- Add the finely chopped onions and sauté them till translucent. [Don’t brown them]
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and mix them well.
- Sauté the tomatoes and add salt and red chilli powder. Stir and mix well.
- Now add the boiled peas and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the mashed roasted Baingan and mix it well with the onion-tomato mixture.
- Stir and sauté for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the coriander leaves and mix it well.
- Serve Baingan Bharta hot with Roti or Bread.
Isn’t that simple? Try it and let me know how you get on with it 🙂
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