Baigun Burtha/ Roasted Spiced Eggplant

It is raining Brinjals in my kitchen! May be just that it is winters and we are getting some really handsome eggplant aka Brinjals here in the North East USA. Last week end when we went shopping, i ended up picking two varieties of Brinjals, one our desi Indian eggplant- the small purple round ones, the other one was the big round American ones as well since my Honey was very impressed by the looks of it. It was indeed surprising to see that expression on his face, pointing the big fat brinjals with a twinkle in his eyes, while saying 'Burtha' 'Burtha'... It reminded me of cajoling kids in the snack aisle of grocery stores! So it is Burtha time of the year already.. It just looks like the season of fresh green beans, but it is already time for brinjals!
One word about brinjal, it is a native vegetable of India. I believe Indians have mastered the art of cooking brinjals, so many dishes ranging from rice to appetizers, and most of them yummy. Another interesting thing about brinjal is that either people love them or love to hate them. My dearest friend S used to hate them so much that in Vangi bhaat, she used to eat just the rice leaving out all the brinjal pieces! For me it is no fun. I love them and thankfully everyone in my family happen to love them, including my finicky sis.
Burtha also brings me back my 'Sabarmati' Hostel days; If at all any one of you readers are from JNU, you will know the reputation of Sabarmati hostel. Of the few exceptions that were edible and which i sort of enjoyed were Dahi Baigan, Kadi pakodi and Baigan Burtha!

You will need,
Brinjal/Eggplant/Aubergine 1 big (about 1 -11/2 lbs)
Onion 1 small
Green Chillies 5 and above ( I like mine spicy and use loads of them)
Tomato 1 very small one
Garlic 2 cloves
Oil to smear + 1 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Coriander a handful
Garam Masala 1 generous pinch

  • Switch on the broiler. Wash the brinjal and wipe them dry. Insert a knife into the centre of brinjal a few times making 4-5 insertions. Spay non stick cooking spray all over or smear some oil all over the brinjal generously.
  • Pop it into the oven and broil till the skin is all charred and the brinjal has shrunk in size.Broiling basically means heating the upper coil in an oven. I can't remember what it is called in the Indian OTG manuals. But it is definitely not called broiling. So make sure to use the right knobs!
  • In the mean time, dice onions and tomatoes as fine as possible. Set them aside. Also grate the garlic, mince green chillies and set it aside.
  • Once the Brinjal is charred and done, pull it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Drop the jeera and wait for it to splutter.
  • Throw in the onion, garlic and green chillies. Cook till the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes. Cook till they are mushy.
  • Once the brinjal is cool enough to handle, pull out the charred skin and place it in a clean bowl. Using a wooden spoon mash the brinjal till it breaks into a coarse pulp.
  • Toss the brinjal pulp into the onion mixture and cook till all the juices have evaporated.
  • Adjust salt and finish with Coriander and Garam Masala.


Lakshmi said...

Baigun Burtha is a perfect combo with chapathis. It is looking delicious.

Deepthi Shankar said...

i love baigun burtha .. what a coincidence, i just made it for lunch yesterday

Andhra Flavors said...

baigun burtha looks delicious and wonderful combination.

Savi-Ruchi said...

wow!!, this bartha is my favorite.., thanks for posting