One of the things I learned from going to college in the States was that Indian food is not limited to spicy curry, tandoori, nasi kandar, and roti canai. There were a host of other dishes that are mostly vegetarian, and mostly absent from the local Indian/mamak restaurants back in KL.
Later I would find out that India is a big country, with varying culinary cultures in different regions. The version of Indian food here in Malaysia is mostly influenced from the Southern region of India, while those available in States usually originates from the Northern region.
ingredients of baingan bharta, vegetarian
My favorite dish from this Punjabi/Northern Indian cuisine is Baingan Bhrata – a name that took me a while to remember and be able to spell it. It is basically an eggplant dish with mixture of onion, tomato, garlic, chili (or capsicum) and curry spices all cooked into almost like a pulp.
While presentation is never easy for something that looks like a pile of mud, this dish is quite strong tasting and flavorful. This is not a difficult dish to prepare, but one that is quite tedious in preparation, but here goes!
the key is to roast the eggplant first
- one large eggplant (brinjal, aubergine, or whatever you want to call it)
- 1 tomato
- 1 capsicum
- 1 yello onion
- 7-8 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
stir-fry everything till soft, add garam masala too
- roast the eggplant in oven at 175 Celsius for 40 minutes, you might want to turn it over half way. The eggplant is ready when the skin is charred and start to cave in. Alternatively, you can put it in a microwave for 8-10 minutes, or grill it on your gas stove too
- in the mean time, chopped all other ingredients finely
- heat up cooking oil, and start frying onion, garlic, and capsicum for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent
- next add tomato, stir for a minute
- finally add eggplant and all the spices, and stir fry everything for a few more minutes until you get everything a pulp
- add coriander as garnish (should have chopped them but I forgot)
Serve while hot, goes well with chapati or basmati rice but normal steamed rice will do too.