Bengan Bhartha – Curried EggplantPosted by Jia
A few years ago Accolan & I took the girls to a local Indian buffet for lunch. Reya, looking at the spread uttered in dismay “they don’t have the catfish.” The owner, overhearing asked her if she liked their catfish dish and she announced that she “loved it.” Not long later while we sat down with our food, the owner came out bearing a complimentary order of the catfish dish (chunks of fish in a creamy orange sauce) in question. To this day I believe we were comped because a cute little “white girl” not only loved their food so much, but appreciated a dish that most kids her age wouldn’t have gone near.
It was at this same restaurant that I first enjoyed bengan bhartha. For a girl raised by an Italian mother and a Polish father the only way I ate eggplant growing up was as Parmesan. When I went through my vegetarian phase in my early 20s I discovered the joy of grilled eggplant and baba ghanouj. But it wasn’t until I was a grown woman in my 30s that I discovered the smoky sweet and savory goodness of this dish.
You are going to have to trust me on how good it is. You are going to have to suspend disbelief when I tell you that despite having to roast and peel the eggplant that it is sinfully easy to prepare. You are going to have to believe me when I tell you that this is a vegan dish that will satisfy the appetite of even the most die-hard carnivores.
Makes 8 servings
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or canola oil)
1 large Spanish onion – chopped (about 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic – minced
1.5 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 large eggplants – roasted, skinned, and rough chopped
3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
8 oz. frozen peas
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pierce eggplants in several places with a fork or paring knife and roast on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes (or until soft and squishy when pressed with a wooden spoon). Set aside until cool. Peel skin and remove pulp to a bowl.
Saute onion in oil until soft and tender. Feel free to allow it to begin to brown a bit, it will add a lovely smoky flavor.
Add ginger and saute for another minute or two until soft. Add garlic and saute until tender.
Rough chop the eggplant and add to the pan. Mix well to incorporate.
Cook for about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and mix well.
Add canned tomatoes, peas and cilantro and stir to combine.
Leave to simmer for 30 minutes to allow tomatoes to cook and all of the flavors to meld.
Adjust salt and other seasonings to taste. If you add additional curry powder allow an additional 10 minutes cooking tim.
A lovely vegan supper served over a bed of rice. We prefer Jasmine rice for the delicate texture and light fragrance it adds.
Total Fat 3.8 g
Saturated Fat 2.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.8 g
Dietary Fiber 7.2 g
Sugars 8.1 g
Protein 4.5 g
estimate via Recipe calculator via Sparkpeople.com
This recipe was shared at Tuesdays At The Table at All Of The Small Stuff, Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades Of Green, Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty And Bedlam, Hearth And Soul Hop at A Moderate Life, Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple, & Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar And Gluten Free, Full Plate Thursdays at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Frugal Food Thursday at Frugal Follies
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