~ Baigan (Eggplant) Ka Bharta!!

When we were kids, we used to call ūüćÜ Baigan (Eggplant in Hindi) be-gun (meaning with no good things, in Hindi) but honestly this vegetable is far from that! Packed with iron amongst other nutrients, this vegetable should be on everyone’s table!

There aren’t too many ways to cooking this vegetable up, but there surely are some fun ways! While Baigan Aloo is a comfort food kinda thing, Baigan ka Bharta is more on the fancy side, and today I am sharing my take on the recipe for that.

This dish is easier when cooked on the gas stove, but can be cooked on an electric stove as well where you’ll have to roast the eggplant in the oven, directions to which are included below.

Ingredients:

2 Medium Baigans (eggplant)

– 1/2 cup frozen green peas, soaked in warm water for about 15 mins

Р1 big chopped onion 

– 1 medium chopped tomato

– 2 chopped green chillies

– 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder, Garam Masala Powder

Р1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder 

Р1 tbsp Vegetable oil 

РSalt to taste 

– Lots of chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation (on the gas stove):

1. Brush baigan with oil and roast it on a gas burner over medium heat. Keep on turning the eggplant around and even upside down, until fully roasted.

2. Once done, hold it under cold running water or put in a bowl full of water. Let it cool down and then peel off the blackened skin. Once done, mash the flesh.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add green chilli and onion and fry over medium heat until light golden brown.

4. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and stir. Add tomatoes and cook until they are tender.

5. Add green peas and mashed baigan (eggplant). Stir well. Fry the baigan bhartha for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.

6. Garnish the baigan bharta with green coriander leaves and serve hot, best with hot Rotis or Daal and Rice!

To prepare in Oven:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. 

2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and apply a thin coat of oil on the eggplant.

3. Make thin slits in the eggplant using a knife. This helps it to cook faster. 

4. Once the oven is heated to 400F, place thetray with eggplant in the oven and let it cook (keep on rotating the eggplant every 15 minutes for even cooking) for about 1 hr or till properly cooked. Depending on the size of the eggplant, the time it takes could be a little less or a little more, so keep an eye!

5. Once done, broil the eggplant on high for about 10-12 mins turning the eggplant after 2-3 mins. This provides the charring uniformly.

6. Remove the tray out of the oven and allow time to cool. 

7. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle peel the skin off and then either with your hands or spoon mash the eggplant. Keep this aside and follow steps 3-6 in the preparation on a gas stove above.

Enjoy!!!!

Do let me know how you liked it, until next time, keep eating yummy food!!

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~ Butter Paneer Masala (Vrat Recipe)

Vrat is Hindi for Fasting for a religious purpose and with the festive season (Navratri, Karvachauth, Diwali) around the corner I thought this would be a good recipe to share on the blog since this doesn’t require onions, ginger or garlic – all of which aren’t allowed in fasting days!!

Butter Paneer Masala is a slightly sweet creamy dish of Paneer. This dish can be made fancy restaurant style or like I do, a quick fix on the days you are starving already, thanks to keeping a Vrat!! In my recipe, the flavors are more in line with home style than restaurant style recipe as I have also made it healthy by skipping the cream and using skim milk instead as well as skipping the cashew nuts.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • Paneer (cottage cheese) 200 grams
  • Oil 4 tablespoons (to make it healthy, I use Olive Oil.)
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 big Bay Leaf
  • 2 medium size Green Chilies – chopped
  • 5 medium sized ripe red Tomatoes – pureed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric (Haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhaniya powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)
  • 3 teaspoons Honey
  • Skim milk 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish

Method:

  1. Cut the paneer into 1 inch cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and sauté.
  3. Add green chillies, continue to sauté and add tomato purée along with salt to this and continue cooking.
  4. Now add red chili powder, garam masala powder, haldi, dhaniya powder along with butter, kasoori methi, honey, milk and mix well.
  5. Once the oil and butter separates, add paneer cubes to the gravy and mix. Cook on low flame for about 10 minutes so that the Paneer soaks in the flavor.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and your dish is ready to serve!

This dish is best served with Roti, Naan, Kulcha or Parathas, as well as Simple Basmati Rice or Jeera (cumin) Rice. Enjoy and do let me know how you liked it ūüôā I would love to hear!!