Baingan bharta (Eggplant curry - Vangyache bharit)  

1 big eggplant,
2 medium sized onions,
1 small tomato (optional),
4-5 green chilies,
4 small garlic cloves,
1 inch piece of ginger,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
coriander leaves,
2-3 tbsp oil,
2 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp turmeric powdr,
1/2 tsp asafoetida.

1. Rub some oil to the surface of the eggplant and put it over direct flame. After a minute turn a little bit. Likewise keep turning it so that the whole surface gets the heat. Roasting can be done in a conventional oven or a toaster oven at 400deg.F for around 45 minutes to one hour.(Use microwave only if it has grilling option).

2. After half an hour, or when the skin of eggplant loosens up from the inner flesh, insert a knife and check if the inner portion of eggplant has turned soft. Remove eggplant from the fire and place it in a vessel. Cover the vessel with a plastic wrap or any other lid so the skin comes off easily.

3. When it cools down, peel the skin off and take only the inner flesh of the eggplant. Scoop out black seeds, if any. Mash it with a spatula or grind coarsely in a chopper / grinder.

4. Chop chilies, onions and tomatoes. Crush garlic cloves. Also grate ginger.

5. Heat generous amount of oil in a pan. When the oil is heated enough, add mustard seeds. As they splutter, add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Add chilies, onions and fry till onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and again fry till the oil separates from the mixture. Now add mashed eggplant and give it a good stir.

6. Add garam masala powder and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and serve with bhakri or any Indian bread.

Variation: Add some curry leaves along with the chilies.

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