I absolutely love this. It's a very Punjabi dish known as bharta in India, and it's great with lentil and bean curries, or just with crispy naan or flatbreads and some creamy raita.


  • 2 large eggplants
  • a little vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (or half oil, half butter)
  • 2 small-ish onions, minced
  • 1-3 green chiles, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
  • 3/4 ounce gingerroot, peeled weight, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 rounded teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 large handfuls of green peas (I use frozen)
  • handful of chopped cilantro leaves


Smear the eggplants with a little oil, place directly over a gas flame, and cook, turning often, until charred all over. It will take around 15 minutes. (Or roast them in the oven at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes.) Sprinkle water all over and let cool.

Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a nonstick pan. Add the onions and chiles and cook until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, spices, and salt and cook until the tomatoes release oil back into the pan, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the skin from the eggplants and discard. Chop the flesh and add it to the tomato pan with any juices that have accumulated in the eggplant dish, then tip in the peas. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes, until the moisture has dried off and the mixture looks creamy. Cover and let rest for five minutes, then stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

Serves 4 generously

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Submitted 5/2/13.
Source: Indian Vegetarian Feast: Fresh, Simple, Healthy Dishes for Today's Family by Anjum Anand
Submitted By: b smith

Smoky spiced eggplants