Baingan Bharta – A recipe perfect for all seasons

I see some lovely large and glossy brinjals are in season and when you go shopping select brinjals that are light in weight in proportion to their size. Chances are they would be without seeds or if any, very tender and not so annoying!
To make Baingan Bharta for four portions, you should buy atleast one kilo of brinjal. Prick the brinjals and roast them over open flame or in a tandoor/preheated oven until the skin scorches and starts peeling off and the brinjals start to shrink. Let them cool. You can cool them by dipping them in water. Remove skin and mash the pulp completely. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a kadai. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Cook for half a minute and add 3 medium chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Add 1½ inch chopped ginger and 2 chopped green chillies and cook for a minute. Add 2 teaspoons red chilli powder and mashed brinjals. Cook for seven to eight minutes over medium heat, stirring continuously. Add salt to taste. Add 4 large chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for seven to eight minutes or till the oil separates. Garnish with chopped the coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis. Remember, it is easy to remove skin of a roasted brinjal if it dipped in water just after roasting
Whenever you feel you are running out of ideas to cook, but want a change from Baingan Bharta, try a different bharta : Aloo Bharta, Pyaaz ka Bharta, Shalgam Bharta, Garlic and Chilli Bharta and Spicy Prawn Bharta.
You can use the humble drumstick to make something novel. Boil 4 drumsticks, remove pulp. Sauté 2 chopped onions in 2 tablespoons oil till soft. Add 2 chopped tomatoes, sauté till soft. Add 6 chopped garlic cloves, ½ inch chopped ginger, sauté till fragrant. Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, salt, 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add drumstick pulp, cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.
Another good recipe uses corn. Boil whole corn, remove the niblets and grind it coarsely in a blender. Chop some onions and tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds and sauté till they change colour. Add chopped onions and sauté till light brown. Add chopped green chillies and cook for half a minute. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt. Cook for few seconds and add chopped tomatoes. When tomatoes are cooked add corn, salt and little water. Cook for another five minutes. Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander. Makes a nice Sunday dish doesn’t it and a change from the conventional Baingan Bharta?
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