If you've never roasted an eggplant you've really been missing something. Smokey, melty and delicious, nothing quite beats preparing an eggplant this way. Another good thing, no open flames are necessary. If you can't get a fire, an oven works too. Of course, you won't get all the extra smokey flavor with an oven but it definitely works. Over the years, I've roasted eggplants to be used in many recipes and one of the most popular is this eggplant bharta, smokey and sweet with a bit of local honey. I served it a couple of weeks ago at a vegetarian tasting dinner I had for some friends and it was quickly gobbled up or rather scooped up with grilled pita bread wedges. Which is why I 'm sharing this recipe now.
This is a perfect dish for all July 4th cookouts, plus those white eggplants. When I saw them at the Sonoma Organic Farmers Market, I knew they were going to wind up on my table and no, white eggplants taste no different from purple eggplants,
Here's What You Need:
3 eggplants (about 3 cups)
1 and 1/2 cup of onions finely chopped
6 Tbs peanut powder
1 and 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp tamarind concentrate mixed with 3 Tbs water
6 tsp honey (or molasses for a vegan dish)
3/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kashmiri chili or 1/4 tsp pprika mixed with 1/4 tsp cayenne
3 Tbs of vegetable oil
3/4 tsp brown mustard seeds
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (if you're using an oven) otherwise fire up the grill.
Poke the eggplants all over with a fork so they don't explode while cooking. Rub them with a bit of vegetable oil.
Place the eggplants directly on a grill or over the flame of your stove, like this.
(You can also roast them on a cookie sheet on the top rack of a 450 degree oven.)
Once they're cooked, let them cool and peel them.
Place the peeled eggplant in a bowl and mash them.
In a small bowl mix together the honey or molasses, garam masala and chili.
Heat the vegetable oil in a small skillet. When it's hot, add in the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds start to pop, pour the mustard seeds and oil into the tamarind, honey chili mixture.
Mix it together well.
Scatter finely chopped cilantro across the top of the dish and serve it up.
Coming up next, using record breaking heat to make pickles, with carrots. Yeah you heard me right. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori