Eggplant Mash (Benghan ka Bharta)

YIELD: 4 servings       TIME: 40 mins

Eggplant is probably my favorite cooked vegetable (after spinach). There are so many variations that it never gets boring. From simply baked slices, to eggplant yogurt, to eggplant lasagna, to babaganoush. The possibilities are endless. Below, I have a favorite of mine. It is one of my goto recipes that I can prepare quickly especially when I notice the family is lacking in their vegetable intake. This recipe is a slight variation of the one from I like to eat mine with some baked chicken, or if going all veggie that night, a fresh green salad.



3-4 large eggplants (roasted = 4 cups)
1 medium yellow* onion diced (1 cup)

1 large Jalapeno minced (seeded)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp minced garlic
 3/4 tsp salt  
½ tsp red chili (cayenne) powder 
2 TBSP olive oil 
¼ tsp turmeric powder 
3 TBSP. yogurt 
2 TBSP. tamarind paste** 
2 TBSP. mint (Podina) leaves – chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
*the original recipe called for green/spring onions which I never have on hand. These work just as well.
** I usually make my own and freeze in ice cube trays.


Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Spray baking sheet with olive oil
and lay the eggplant halves face down.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-40 mins or until the skin begins to shrivel.
Cool a bit and then scoop out pulp into a dish to be used later.
Discard skins.
While eggplants are baking, add 1 tsp ghee to a sauce pan.
Add diced onions and cook until they just begin to carmelize.
Add cumin seeds, minced jalapeno, and garlic, stir.
Add in the cooked eggplant pulp and all the other ingredients,
except the mint and lemon juice. Stir again.
Cook on low heat/simmer until it forms a ball when stirred.
Add mint, squeeze lemon juice on top.
Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with naan or rice, or just by itself.

To make the tamarind paste, I get it in a pack from an ethnic store.
I break off some and put in a glass bowl, pour boiling water over
and cover for 15-20 mins. I strain and use the liquid in my cooking
or store in freezer.

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