Indian Eggplant Curry (Bhaingan Bharta)

Bhaingan Bharta - Indian Eggplant Curry #healthy #dinner #recipe

The world is surprising.  Sometimes this is terrifying. Sometimes exhilarating. Sometimes humbling, mortifying, inspiring, life-changing.  Sometimes feeling surprised requires nothing short of rocket science.

Surprise, your science experiment just changed the lives of millions of people for the better!

Surprise, the company you started while scraping by took off and now look at you sail!

Surprise, that little characteristic you are so self-conscious about is loved and craved by others.

Surprise, you bare witness to an unsurpassed act of kindness from one human to another when your faith in people is long overdue for renewal.

I like being surprised by people. Watching 6 incredible pilots perform aerobatics in perfect synchronization, flying fast, turning tricks, proving dedication works.  Meeting a 91-year-old wine maker who started a winery at age 63, and who built the business from nada to top-tier producer.

Welcoming surprise into your life can be rewarding. It can overwhelm you with joy. It’s okay if you prefer predictability and comfort. But maybe that little thing you were missing that you couldn’t put your finger on was actually there all along; you just needed to accept it. You needed a big dose of surprise.

Bhaingan Bharta - Indian Eggplant Curry #healthy #dinner #recipe

One of my favorite Indian dishes is eggplant curry.  I posted an eggplant curry recipe last year, trying desperately (in vain) to re-create the eggplant curry from a great Indian restaurant in Reno; but after a Pinterest session brought me this recipe, I got one step closer and will definitely be making this one time and again.  The original recipe calls for two spices I couldn’t find at the grocery store, garam masala and asafetida.  I bet these spices make a difference so if you know where to get them, definitely add them in.

I also used a couple of habaneros instead of green chilies because I was craving some (a ton of) heat.  If you have never tried eggplant curry or if you’re unsure whether or not you even like eggplant, try this recipe…it may surprise you!

Bhaingan Bharta - Indian Eggplant Curry #healthy #dinner #recipe

Indian Eggplant Curry (Bhaingan Bharta)

Author: Julia
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1.5 piece ” ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 habanero chilies finely chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 large eggplant roasted
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half length-wise, drizzle some oil on the flesh (so that it doesn’t stick to the baking sheet) and place the halves on a baking sheet flesh-side down. Roast 40-50 minutes or until the skin is brown and pulling away from the flesh. The eggplant flesh should now be darker and appear wet. (You can also roast the eggplant by wrapping the whole thing in foil and putting in the oven, but this method takes much longer).
  2. If you’re serving the dish over rice, prepare the rice while the eggplant is roasting. I steamed one cup of dry brown rice, which was the perfect portion to go with the eggplant.
  3. While the eggplant is roasting, begin preparing the curry. Heat the oil to medium high and add the cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for two minutes then add the ginger. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until very fragrant, then reduce heat to medium and add the chopped onion and. Sauté about 3 minutes before adding the garlic, habaneros, ground cumin and turmeric. Cook until onion is translucent, about another 8 minutes. If using frozen peas, add them now.
  4. Once eggplant is finished roasting, allow it to cool enough to handle and peel the skin off (it should come right off). Place the flesh in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the eggplant to the rest of the ingredients, reduce the heat if necessary and cook 5 minutes. Add the tomato (and the green peas if using fresh or canned peas), cover and allow to cook another 5 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do a taste test and add salt as necessary. Serve over brown or basmati rice!

Recipe Notes

*Choose your heat level. I removed the seeds from one of the habaneros, but kept the seeds in one of them. If you don’t like spicy food, don’t use habaneros – try jalapenos and remove all the seeds or leave peppers/chilies out entirely. Adapted from: Crave Cook Click

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