Friday, September 5, 2014

Bangin' Bharta with Ginger, Miso and Black Garlic

eggplant twins!
Baingan bharta is a traditional vegetarian charred eggplant dish found in Indian and Pakistani cuisines.  The word "bharta" refers to ingredients that are roughly mashed and can be made from a variety of vegetables.  I'm not sure if eggplant, or baingan bharta is the most popular variety, but I love ordering it at my local Indian restaurant.  Perhaps just because I love saying the name :-)

I bought a beautiful basket of organic Asian eggplants at a local farmer's market and wanted to try making INDIAN BAIGAN BHARTA - CHAR ROASTED EGGPLANT DIP, I developed my own variation using fermented black garlic.
The smooth smokiness of fire-roasted eggplant made me think that some sweet sticky black garlic would pair nicely.  This was actually the first time I've used black garlic at home.  When I opened up the cloves I was struck by its heavenly caramelized smell and molasses like texture.  It reminded me of red miso paste, so I thought why not combine these three rich savory foods into one bangin' dish.
Top: black garlic, Bottom: red miso
Here's the result:
Bangin' Bharta with Ginger, Miso and Black Garlic


12-baby Asian eggplants
2-ripe tomatoes
1-medium shallot
4-cloves of black garlic
2-tsp red or mellow miso
1"-finger of ginger
1-green chili
2-tsp whole cumin seed
1-tsp smoked paprika
1-bunch cilantro
1 to 2 tsp lime juice or apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven or grill to 450F.
  2. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and arrange the halves on a baking sheet skin-side down.
  3. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and let rest while preparing the other ingredients.
  4. Core and deseed the tomatoes.
  5. Peel the skins off the garlic.
  6. Finely mince the chilli and shallot.
  7. Add the tomato, garlic, miso, ginger, and lime juice to a high speed blender (I use a NutriBullet, which
    I find is works better for small sauces than trying to scrape out of a Vitamix) and blend into a smooth paste.  Add a dash of water if necessary to get nice and smooth.
  8. After 15-20 minutes your eggplants should release some water, pat them dry with a clean towel and arrange on a baking sheet cut-side down if baking.
  9. Bake or grill your eggplants for 15-20 minutes until the skins begins to crinkle and char.
  10. When done the inside of eggplant should be easy to scoop out.  Separate the inside from the skin using a spoon into a large bowl, reserving the skins.
  11. (Optional) Finely chop the skins if you want to use them and add to the bowl.
  12. Crush the cumin seed in a mortal and pestle or process in a spice grinder.
  13. Roughly chop the cilantro, reserving a bit for garnish.
  14. Add all remaining ingredients except the paprika to the bowl.
  15. Pour the tomato mixture into the bowl.
  16. Mash and mix together with a fork until well combine.
  17. Sprinkle the top with paprika and garnish with cilantro.
Enjoy with homemade nan or brown rice crackers.

Bangin' Bharta served with homemade brown rice crisps

No comments:

Post a Comment