When I think of roasted eggplant curry or Bengain Bharta, I think of my mom roasting the large eggplants on the gas stove, and the charred smell that used to fill the kitchen was just so intoxicating! Then came the process of cooling it down, remove the charred skin from the top, and have the smokey eggplant as the main star of this dish. It was magical to watch her put the spices into the pan, as she made this vegetable. No measurements, just pure art, putting the salt, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder, cumin seeds, and making the most flavorful dish ! She was and has always been my inspiration, the one who taught me how to cook and make rotis when I was 8 years old! I loved to stand next to her and watch her cook, and eventually help her. I would hold her saree end and just stand by her. Those memories are still fresh in my mind….
I rarely make this vegetable, since no one in my family likes eggplants as yet! I am hoping I can convert my children as they grow older! The main process is to char the eggplants on the gas stove or in the oven, under a broiler to char the skin of the eggplant completely to get the smokey flavor. Then come the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste which is quintessential of many Indian dishes, and then comes the spices, and finally the mashed eggplant, such that the spice mixture coats the eggplant beautifully to create a complete flavor profile.
I love eating this dish with homemade fresh rotis and raita, as pictured here, along with some pickled red onions on the side. You could also eat it with garlic naan, it would be so good! J
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember to tag me at on Instagram @thejamlab, with #thejamlab, and/or leave a comment below to let me know how you liked this lovely dish.