Almost every community has a mashed eggplant recipe..be it our very own baingan bharta in India, Hunkar Begendi for the Turkish or even the Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush. I enjoy every one of them. Winters though makes me bend more towards our Baingan Bharta which I enjoy with hot chapatis / rotis (Indian flat bread). Every state in India have their very own way cooking a roasted mashed eggplant..I however prefer the one I grew up eating, in which the eggplant is well charred and then skinned before being further cooked.
What you need:
Small purple egg plants – 4 – 5(smaller ones are better)
One plum tomato – chopped
One medium sized red onion – chopped small
Garlic – 6-7 cloves chopped fine
Grated ginger – 1tsp
Hot Serrano chilies – 4 -5 (you can use less)
Cilantro leaves / dhanya patta – chopped fine..a handful
Cumin / jeera seeds – 1tsp
Wash and wipe dry the eggplants. Make slits length wise but keep it attached to its stem. Smear some mustard oil on it. Roast in on open flame or even a grill(if you have one) till the skin is well charred and the flesh is soft pulpy.
Immerse in a bowl of water(room temp). This will help you easily peel the charred skin. Clean and keep aside till not too hot to handle with bare hands. Then mash it up well.
Heat a wok add around a table spoon of mustard oil. Once hot add the cumin seeds and wait for it to splutter. Next add the onion and garlic and cook till onion turns translucent and raw garlic smell goes away. Next add the ginger, chopped tomato and chopped green chilies along with some salt and cook till soft but not mushy.
Turn off the flame and add the mashed eggplant pulp and chopped cilantro with a small dash of mustard oil(if you like). Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve hot with hot rotis or parathas.
Note: A lot of people also use Ghee to cook this dish if they are not fond of mustard oil. If you want to dress it up some you can include some green peas like a friend of mine does.