November 29, 2008

Bar bar baingan - with recipes now!!

For the unfamilar few, the post title is in Hindi and it means -brinjal (eggplant) again n again.

Well, I did promise the baingan bharta to anyone who followed what I was saying last week. Addicted to my own cooking, I did make it again... and managed to recreate the magic (what my dad says is the mark of a good chef)... alright alright, enough peethal (tamil for uncalled-for praise). Here's a pic of the subji... The light was gone outside and I had to resort to the good old yellow ceiling lighting and hence the bad photo. But I assure you it tasted way more delicious than it looks. Also, I was out of cilantro and didn't want to stock some so close to leaving, hence the boring garnishing.

And what did I have it with? My indian bread speciality - theplas :D. Made enough for the whole week. Take a look -

Leave me a comment if you're interested in either recipe. I'll be happy to share. Happy tucking in!

Well, there was atleast one request for the recipe... so here goes.
Hint - Read blue-coded words for the order in which to add ingredients.

Baingan Bharta -
1. 1 medium-sized eggplant
2. 1 large onion
3. 1 can of tomatoes/2-3 medium sized tomatoes
4. 2 cloves of garlic
5. For seasoning - mustard seeds, jeera seeds, 1 tsp each of dhaniya (mustard) power & jeera powder, 2 dry red chilis, 1/2 tsp of red chili powder, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste.
6. For garnishing - a fresh sprig of coriander leaves
7. For cooking - 1 tbsp of oil

How to make it
1. Heat the oil in medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the onion up into medium-sized pieces.
2. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, finely chopped and the dry red chilis.
3. As the garlic starts turning brown, add the cut onions and some salt, so that the onion releases it's juices and cooks in them.
4. Once the onions get done, add a pinch of turmeric and dump the can of tomatoes into it. Add the dhaniya, jeera and red chili powders to it and stir well. Cover the saucepan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes to allow all the masalas to seep into the onion-tomato mix. Set aside.
5. Prepare the eggplant to be roasted/smoked on the gas/hotplate. Put 2-3 drops of oil on your hand and rub it through the entire eggplant to coat it everywhere will a thin film of oil. This prevents the eggplant from burning and aids even cooking on the inside.
6. Turn the gas to medium-high and once it's hot, hold the eggplant by the stem or using a pair of tongs and place directly on the gas. After a minute of two of steaming, once you turn the eggplant a bit, you can see that the skin starts peeling slowly. Do this on all sides, including the bottom so that the eggplant is cooked throughly on the inside. It should look something like this -

Set asideto cool off.
7. By now, your onion-tomato mix would've cooled reasonably. Grind it into a coarse mixture in the mixi, not too fine, to make sure that you have some chunks remaining. This is your gravy.
8. Once the eggplant has cooled down, run it under water and peel away all of the skin. The eggplant should've lost all its firmness and can now be cut into small pieces or mashed into a mixture to be added to the gravy.
9. Heat 1tsp of oil in the saucepan and allow mustard-jeera seeds to sputter. Add the chopped/mashed eggplant and cook for a minute before adding the gravy and mixing everything evenly.
10. Garnish with coriander and serve with parathas/phulkas/theplas or steamed rice.
Note: Smoking the eggplant is what distinguishes the baingan bharta from any ordinary baingan subji. Do not skip this step.

Ingredients (for about 20 mid-sized theplas)
1. 4-5 cups of whole wheat flour
2. Condiments: 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of red chili powder, 1tsp of sugar, pinch of turmeric
3. 2 cups of water, more or less
4. 2 tsp of oil

How to make it
1. Add the condiments to the dry flour and mix well.
2. Add the water in small portions while kneading the dough with your fingers to a smooth consistency. Stop adding water when the dough has reached the right consistency. (Hint: If the dough is too dry, it will flake while rolling out the theplas. Make sure it is a little sticky).
3. Rub the oil in your fingers and knead into the dough.
4. Set aside for 1-2 hours (Hint: Make your subji in the meantime to save time overall!)
5. Roll out like chapathis, except you don't need extra flour to roll them out. They should be easier to roll than chapathis.
6. Cook on a tava like chapathis, using the flame itself to have them 'ball-up' like phulkas as well. (It tastes just as good even if you don't do it that way).

Advantages: They are spicier and tastier than normal chapathis and make for a good change. They also last longer and are a great snack with chai.


Anonymous said...

recipe it in the blog...also looks good..but one week ku rombo jasthi..jus kidding


Ayyaz said...

Great photo. I hope taste is as good as photo.


Jaya said...

Kay-> Will post the recipe soon..

Ayyaz -> Thank you. It was absolutely delicious :)

Slv said...

Awesome stuff.. thanks for the recipes.. n glad u didnt wait for like 12 of us to ask for it. maybe u should just put the recipe even if ppl dont ask. u know they wud want to. am going to ask my wife to try this one of these days. thanks!

aparajita said...


Jaya said...

Slv Aparajita -> Thanks.. glad u enjoyed it. Hope you try it n reaffirm the goodness of the recipe as well. Bon appetit!

Anonymous said...

hey jaya,

THanks so much..i tried it and it was very very good...

THanks for sharing

Have a great time in india..i will be missing u r blog

Jaya said...

Anon -> Thank you so much first for reading the blog and then for trying out the recipe. Yeaay! And yes I think I am a chronic blogger n shd be able to get my hands on the computer to get some blog-time. Keep visiting!

Manjari said...

hey jaya,,

awesome dishes..and woo...they r so tempting...hey how abt the perfect shape that u got for the theplas..?? rolled them..or do u have the chapati maker?

Jaya said...

Manjaro -> Thanks da... And theplas.. I rolled them (no chapathi makers :D). Experience makes good.. hahaha. Thanks n keep visiting :)

Manjari said...

ooh man....awesomeeeeeee then!!!

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