My love for Baingan Bharta has turned into a bit of an obsession lately; especially since I mentioned it in my recent post for blueberry salsa. This recipe is an adaption of the link I posted from Manjula’s Kitchen. But, it’s a tad different with the addition of yellow zucchini squash.
The entire dish comes together quite easily, although the mashing of the ingredients while cooking takes a little elbow grease. It works wonders to curb a desperate craving for Baingan Bharta, say… really late at night when everything is closed and the nearest Indian restaurant is 45 miles away.
Baingan Bharta – Vegan and Gluten Free
- 1 vidalia onion
- 2 tbsp cooking oil or vegan margarine
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 medium yellow zucchini, skinned and most seeds removed
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes ( I say 2-3 because my adorable little doggy decided to sneak my third tomato off of the table while I wasn’t looking, so I had to use two)
- 4-6 pieces of okra, chopped
- 2 fresh hot peppers of your choice, or more depending on desired spice level (my 8 year old said that this amount was nice and mild :)
- 2-3 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- salt to taste
Cut eggplant in half, and sprinkle the exposed fleshy part with salt. Drizzle with olive oil and place onto cookie sheet “skin side up”. Roast for about 30 minutes at 350 °F. ** You can get away with not flipping the eggplant over, although I always feel an overwhelming need to flip.
Once finished roasting, change oven to “broil” setting and broil eggplant for about 5-10 minutes, or until nice and browned on top. This adds a delicious smoky flavor. A little bit of liquid smoke added to the pan of veggies works well too if you want to forgo the broil… just roast a touch longer.
** While eggplant is roasting, chop the Vidalia onion, the peppers, zucchini, and the okra into bite sized pieces. In large frying pan or shallow saucepan, cook onions and peppers with cooking oil or margarine over medium- high heat until onions begin to caramelize. Add okra and zucchini and reduce heat to low. Cook about 7 more minutes, turn off heat, and set aside.
Remove skin from eggplant and try and scoop out as many seeds as possible. Its not necessary to worry about all of them, but getting most of them out will ensure a less seedy dish.
Boil a small pot of water and blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for about 1 minute. Transfer to ice-bath and skins will peel right off.
Cut tomatoes and eggplant into small pieces and transfer to pan with the onions, peppers, zucchini, and okra. Add spices and cover with lid about 10 minutes over medium heat.
Continue to cook all ingredients while mashing the mixture until a desired consistency is reached. You can achieve this easily with a potato masher. If you don’t have a potato masher, a sturdy heavy whisk will work okay, but you may have to use a bit more “umph” to get it all smashed up well. The extra cooking/mashing time should take about 10 more minutes. You can cook it longer if you lie yours really smooth and creamy, but I leave mine a little chunky.
Salt to taste. Serve over Basmati rice (adding a little veggie bouillon to the rice while cooking and about a tbsp of freshly minced cilantro once it’s finished is sooooo good).