Begun Bharta – Indian Eggplant Dish

I had this delicious begun bharta with a friend via take-out and thought, “I should make this!” Well, I did make it, but theirs was better. But I think I know what I did wrong, so next time mine will be better!! Haha, maybe. Here what happened:

I used a recipe from Bhavakuta and pretty much followed it:
– Roast an eggplant at 450*f for 20-30 minutes. I sort of did this, except that I was making banana bread at the same time, so I ended up turning it down to 375 for a while. Mistake #1: I don’t think I cooked the eggplant for long enough. You’re supposed to peel and mash it after it’s cooked (once it’s cooled). It peeled ok, but didn’t mash well. So yeah, error on the side of over-roasting it.

– Heat oil with cumin and add chopped onion. (They said use mustard seed oil, but I used peanut oil and then threw in mustard seeds along with the cumin seeds). Sauté the onion until soft. Mistake #2: I guess I was too excited by the other ingredients, because I didn’t actually do this, and in the end result the onions were a little crunchy.

– But the other ingredients are rather exciting! Add in spices: ginger powder (they said paste), garlic (they said paste for this too), turmeric and cumin (they said curry powder – I should really get some of that)
– Add in yogurt (I didn’t really measure but ~a cup)
– Add in eggplant (which, looking back at the recipe, now says should be minced – oops!)
– Add in jalapeño and salt
– Cook for 10 minutes (I did longer but it didn’t make up for my cooking lapses in precious steps!)
– Garnish with cilantro
– Serve with rice or don’t – I didn’t, it can stand alone.

Even with the mistakes, this was still quite good! Especially if you didn’t know how good it was supposed to be, haha.