Balti Eggplant Bhartha (Bengun Bhartha)

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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1 1/8 pounds eggplant
3 tablespoons corn oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground fresh garlic
1/4 pound chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder -- (omit for, a milder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup onions or -- finely sliced
3/4 cup spring onions -- chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh green chiles
6 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala

Preparation / Directions:

1 If the eggplants are fist-sized or smaller, bake them whole under a preheated grill for 4 minutes each side, or until brown on all sides. If the eggplant is large, then cut in half and grill both sides. Lower gently into cold water to cool, then carefully peel off the skin and discard. Chop up, or use a fork to mash the eggplant into a coarse pulp. 2 Put the oil into a *karahi* or large frying pan, add the whole cumin and garlic, and when the mixture sizzles, add the aubergine pulp, tomatoes, salt, red chile powder, and turmeric. Stir well, then simmer, covered, on low heat for 10 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir. 3 Add the coriander and cumin, and simmer, covered, for 2 minutes. Finally add the onions, fresh chiles, fresh coriander, and garam masala. Remove from the heat and keep, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with chapatis or plain rice. Source: A TASTE OF BALTISTAN, Sabiha Khokhar

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