So a when a trumpet-playing fool of a friend who talks to you about Indian food non-stop leaves for North Dakota to get more schoolin', you make him some baingan bartha. Of course, it was not easy to find a recipe. I looked here, here, and here. Please note the 'not exactly mainstream' nature of the URLs.
But each of them gets the drift of what I was looking for. Eggplant, roasted or grilled, peas/tomatoes, and some combination of spices and herbs. I went with seranos for heat, ginger for fragrance, and a spice mixture of cumin, coriander, and chilli powder.
I gave it to T late last night, so I'll hear from him whenever he wakes up from a long night a playing music with the RK Quartet. But the bowl I ate was a fairly tasty bit o' goodness. Since I didn't make ghee, and just used butter, it didn't have the uber-Indian creaminess. But I have to say, the heat and ginger was the real deal. I will need to roast the eggplant more next time to get it all softened.
It's not much to look at if you're in a 'pretty food tastes good' world, but really, if that's the only world you live in, it's time to move on.
If you wanted to get this real deal Indian, you'd probably follow one of the Indian recipes, and you'd probably make ghee to start it all off. It's clarified butter and adds a creamy texture and a buttery flavor that can't be replicated by adding extra butter at the end. Next time, it's ghee for me.
- 2 medium onions diced fine
- 3 small tomatoes, diced fine
- 2 medium eggplants, roasted and skin removed then mashed
- 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t coriander
- 1 t chilli powder
- 2 t turmeric
- 3 T finely minced ginger
- 6 T butter, divided
- Melt 3T butter (this is the skipping of ghee step).
- Add onion, salt, pepper, saute for 5 minutes.
- Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add ginger, saute until fragrant.
- Add serano, peas, and tomatoes, stirring through each time.
- Add the eggplant, stir through, pour in 1 cup of water, cover and cook for ten minutes.
- Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes, adding three T of butter to the mix.