This recipe is a favorite in my home. The eggplants are roasted, mashed and then cooked further with spices. I use small baby eggplants because they roast quickly. The only drawback of this recipe is that if you are roasting the eggplants on an electric range it can smoke if left unattended and therefore has to be constantly monitored. It works best when the eggplants are roasted on a flame burner. Also, in winter time with the windows all closed the whole house can smell of roasted eggplant for a pretty long time (a peeve of mine with Indian cooking). Nonetheless, this is a delicious indian recipe that has to be eaten with phulkas (check Indian breads post for that).
6 small baby eggplants (Don't use the large eggplants)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
One pod garlic, chopped
mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
green chilly, one, slit
turmeric 1/2 tsp
red chilly powder, to taste
cumin powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
1 tblsp oil
Wipe eggplants dry. Place on flame or electric coil on medium heat. Keep turning eggplants with tongs to roast evenly on all sides.
The skin of the eggplant should look burnt while the insides should start to feel mushy. This is the critical step and should be done right. A pain yes, but well worth it.
Peel off the burnt skin and cut off stem and head. Chop the eggplant into pieces and then mash with a potato masher into a pulp.
Heat oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds, green chilly and garlic. Fry till mustard seeds sputter. Add onions and fry till transparent. Add tomatoes, spices and salt. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes till the mixture is well cooked, stirring often. Add eggplant pulp. Mix together. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes. Serve hot garnished with cilantro. Eat with chapatis.