Bharta (version IV)

(2 votes)

2 1/4 pounds eggplant (2 medium eggplants)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers or other hot peppers, seeded, minced
2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped.
salt to taste
cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)

Prick eggplant a few times with fork. Grill eggplant above medium-hot coals about 1 hour, broil about 40 minutes, turning often or bake at 400 F, about 1 hour. When done, eggplant’s flesh should be tender and eggplant should look collapsed. Remove eggplant peel. Cut off stem. Drain off any liquid from inside eggplant. Chop flesh fine with knife, or puree in food processor.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 7 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add hot pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring often. (Eggplant can be kept, covered, 4 days in refrigerator.) Serve hot, cold, or room temperature, from a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 appetizer or side-dish servings.

From Faye Levy’s wonderful book International Vegetable Cookbook

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