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17 January, 2015

Baigan Bharta (Roasted-mashed-Brinjals)

Posted in : Punjabi Tadka, Veg on by : Isha K

Baigan ka Bharta is a North Indian exotic dish made from roasted brinjals/aubergines. An exquisite preparation with almost no spice is the USP of this dish. Very less hard work and lots of taste is what you get in this platter. The smoky flavor leaves no space for anything in your mind, it is just you and your bharta.

BaiganBharta

The best part of bharta is the smoky flavor you get. Traditionally, brinjals are roasted in choolhas and charcoal heat, but in this high-tech world we have microwaves, inductions and electric tandoors, the traditional methods are loosing their existence. Some people roast brinjals in the oven, but after that you do not get the smoky tint so if you don’t have Desi choolhas, always prefer to roast brinjals on the gas stove. It is favorite of all savored with rice and tandoori roti.

There are many ways to prepare Bharta, like in Rajasthan, U.P and Bihar, people prepare Kacha Bharta with Daal Baati in which they simply roast the Brinjals and add raw chopped onions, chilies, tomatoes, fresh coriander, salt and mustard oil which is simply irresistible.  Trust me, I was not a Bharta lover, but after tasting this Kacha Bharta at one of my friend’s place, I am also in the list of Bharta Lovers now. 🙂 Will surely post the detailed recipe.

In winters, you can add fresh peas to give your Bharta a nice add on. I added them and I just love peas in winters because you get the fresh thing not the frozen ones.

Note: While purchasing brinjals for bharta, i.e. Large brinjals,  with soft stems (not hard to bend) are generally tender and with lesser seeds. Please also check that the brinjals does NOT have any hole to avoid worms. Keep the following points in mind.

  1. Look for eggplants with smooth and shiny skin.
  2. The color should always be shiny and bright whether it is green, or purple. These seem to have less number of seeds.
  3. Make sure there are no patches on the skin.
  4. The skin should be thin.
  5. If it is wrinkled, it is old. These would taste bitter.
  6. Press against the skin of the eggplant a little, if you see an impression, it means it is ripe.
  7. If the skin is too soft, it means it is too old and would surely taste bitter.


Serves:4

Ingredients:

1. Brinjals or Aubergines – 2Nos.

2. Onion, finely chopped – 2 medium size

3. Garlic, finely chopped – 7-8 cloves

4. Ginger, finely chopped – 1 inch ginger piece

5. Green Peas- 1 Cup (Optional)

6. Tomato, finely chopped – 2 medium size

7. Green chillies, finely chopped – 2-3 (Depends how spicy you want)

8. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder- 1 teaspoon

9. Salt – to taste

10. Fresh Coriander, chopped

11. Mustard Oil or Cooking Vegetable Oil – 2 Tbspn

Tip: Bharta cooked in mustard oil enhances the flavor. I prefer mustard oil.

 

Punjabi Tadka-

Roasting Process-

Roasting_brinjals

1. Wash brinjals and pat them dry.

2. Coat them with oil. Prick them with a knife, you can also stuff garlic cloves in it, in this way garlic will also get roasted, resulting in more yummy flavor and aroma.

3. Keep the Baigan on an open flame and roast, keep turning it to cook it evenly from all the sides. Your home will be filled with the aroma of baingans, even your neighbors will get to know that delicious Bharta is cooking. 😛 It will start shrinking.

4. Keep the roasted brinjals in a bowl filled with water, let them cool down, it will be now easier for you to peel the outer skin.

5. When they are cool down, peel off the skin.

Tempering Process-

Bharta_tempering

1. Take a pan and if using mustard oil, then heat it till it reaches the smoking point, turn off the gas to lower the temperature.

2. Add finely chopped onions, saute till they turn translucent and pink, add finely chopped garlic and ginger. Saute till they turn brown.

3. Add green peas and saute till they become soft. Add tomatoes and green chilies, saute till tomatoes become soft.

4. Add salt and red chilli powder. Add roasted brinjals and mash them in masala, add coriander leaves.

5. Saute for 5-8 minutes, switch off the flame. You are done with your Bharta.

Serve with rice or chapatti.

 

Baiganbharta_2

 

 

Factual World:

Eggplant or Brinjal, is a very low calorie vegetable and has healthy nutrition profile; good news for weight watchers! The veggie is popularly known as aubergine in the western world.

Several varieties of aubergines are grown all around the world. Depending on the cultivar type, they vary greatly in size, shape, and color. Generally, aubergines fall into two broad categories, either oval shaped, or thin and elongated.

The plant reaches about 3-4 feet tall in quick time and bears many bright fruits. Each fruit has smooth, glossy skin. Internally, it features off-white color pulp with numerous centrally arranged small, soft seeds. Fruits are generally harvested when they reach maturity, but just short of full stage ripeness.

Now if we talk about the health benefits, it has many health benefits which I never thought that it could be so. It is so rich in fiber and have very less calories and fat content and it is very effective in controlling blood cholesterol. They are highly beneficial for regulation of blood sugar levels and also to control the absorption of glucose.  This makes them the best option for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

It has anti-oxidants which fight against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases. Further, this vegetable is an also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte that helps counter, pressing (hypertension) effects of sodium.

We all require iron for proper functioning in our day to day life. However, too much of iron in the body is not a good sign. The content of nasunin that is present in eggplant helps remove excess iron from the body. This brings down the risk of getting heart attacks as it damages the existence of the free radicals in one’s system. Eggplants have a good amount of water content. This helps in keeping your body and skin well hydrated. The minerals and vitamins also help give a clear and smooth tone. People with rough and dry hair should eat more eggplants. It helps give a healthy shine to your hair while improving its overall texture.

It also helps to quit smoking…!!!!  Eggplant has a small amount of nicotine which helps those who want to gradually quit smoking.

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