Baigan Ka Bharta/ Ringan no Oro
Its’s hard to believe I once hated eggplant! As a child, I was extremely fussy about food. Things have surely changed since, I absolutely love all sorts of vegetables, including eggplant and karela (bitter gourd) as long as it is cooked in the right way. Out of all the Indian eggplant dishes, ringan no oro, is my absolute favourite. This recipe is really simple, it may seem like there is not enough spices in the recipe. However, I do prefer it without garam masala etc as I like to really enjoy the smoky flavour of the roasted eggplant. Make sure to read the tips at the end of the recipe.
1 large eggplant (500g)
3 medium sized tomatoes diced (300g)
3 tbsps oil + extra to grease the eggplant
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
Use a knife to pierce the eggplant at different spots and grease the eggplant with some oil.
Roast the eggplant on a open gas flame ( medium-high flame) while rotating every so often.
Check if the eggplant is roasted by piercing with a knife
Let the eggplant slightly cool before using a knife to scrape off the charred skin.
Scrape the seeds off the eggplant and finely chop the roasted eggplant.
Heat the oil in an iron wok .
Add the cumin seeds to the hot oil till they crackle.
Add the green chillies to the oil and saute for a few second.
Add the chopped tomatoes and half of the salt to the tomatoes and let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes.
Add in the chopped eggplant and remaining salt.
Cook the bharta on a medium-high flame until the tomatoes are cooked and some oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add in the chopped coriander and serve warm with parathas.
You can dunk the roasted eggplant into a bowl of cold water to easily remove the skin and to wash off tiny bits of charred skin. I usually do not do this though, as I do not want to wash away the flavour. if there is such a thing.
For a good smoky flavour, you have to roast the eggplant on an open gas flame or even better with a charcoal flame. Oven roasted does not give the same flavour.
I like to use an iron wok to make the oro instead of a non stick pan. The iron wok kind of further smokes the oro as the tomatoes stick to the pan while cooking.