|Bharta is a smoked eggplant dish popular in the villages of Punjab. It is usually served with greens, bread, and lassi.|
Preheat oven to 450.
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, score the face of each half with the knife, and brush or drizzle with a bit of oil.
Bake or grill
Cook for 40-50 minutes, until eggplant is black and soft. (Smaller eggplants will take less time.)
Transfer to plate to cool, then scoop out the flesh (discard the skin) and coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat, add onions, and sauté, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn brown. Add ginger and stir for one minute, then add tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until slightly reduced.
Stir in cumin, cayenne, and salt, then add chopped eggplant. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, and serve.
Bharta can be served hot as a side dish, at room temperature as a dip, or chilled as a spread.
Adapted from the recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.
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