- Ethnicity - Bengali, East Indian
- Type of meal - Party, Lunch, Dinner
- 1 medium Eggplant (about 1 lb)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kalonji seeds (also called jeera, tastes like Onion)
- 1 to 2 whole green chilies
- 1 cup Onion, finely chopped (about 1 medium Onion)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon seeded, minced fresh green chile
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped green onions
- Smoke or roast the Eggplant: Hold the Eggplant over a low open gas flame.
- Rotate the Eggplant 90 degrees every few minutes or so. The skin will gradually darken, the Eggplant will start to sag, and you will notice a pleasant smoky smell.
- After about 20 minutes or half an hour, when the skin is completely charred, remove the Eggplant from the flame.
- This step can be done by broiling or roasting the Eggplant in the oven, but you will not get the same smoky flavour which makes this dish so good.
- Allow the Eggplant to cool, then discard all of the skin, chop the flesh then mash with a fork.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Fry kalonji seeds and whole green chilies for a few seconds, then add Onion and fry until it is richly browned but not burnt.
- Add chopped green chile, turmeric, salt, Sugar and tomatoes. Simmer, covered, until tomatoes disintegrate into sauce, about 10 minutes.
- Add the Eggplant and simmer, covered, at least 10 minutes to blend flavours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes to help develop flavours.
- Add cilantro & green onions. Mix and serve.
- Like most Indian dishes, this is one that improves drastically with age.
- I usually make it the day before the meal & then reheat just before serving.