Indian Fusion Cuisine in Portland and Tucson
August Food Swap Notes:
A quick and easy bhaingan bharta using Ruchikala’s all purpose curry paste.
Thanks for swapping by! I hope you guys enjoy this curry paste. Bhaingan bharta is a spicy north Indian eggplant curry with sweet summer peas. It is traditionally served with Rotis, naan and rice but is fantastic with quinoa or applied generously to your favorite sandwiches or tossed with pasta for some summery Italian fusion.
1 large or 2 medium eggplants
1 jalapeno (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup of frozen peas
⅓ cup of coconut milk/heavy cream (optional)
1 handful of cilantro
1) Char eggplant on your stove or grill. Make sure all the skin gets nicely blackened on all sides. Then put it into a medium pot covered with the lid. The eggplant will steam in the pot allowing the skins to separate from the flesh. After about 10 minutes remove the skin from the eggplant (you don’t have to get too “detailed” with it) and then add it to a blender. Secure the top with a kitchen towel, puree and then set aside.
2) In a medium skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil into a pan. On low heat add the cumin seeds and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the seeds start to sizzle slightly. Add the chiles (if using) and fry for another 2 minutes.
3) Add the curry paste to the pan and stir to combine. Add a teaspoon of salt. On medium heat fry the curry paste for about a minute and then add the pureed eggplant with ½ cup of water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and add peas and cook through. At this point add the cream/coconut milk (if using) and cilantro. Season to taste and serve!
There are several other recipes I will be adding to this post for the all purpose curry paste, including saag, channa masala and chicken makhini. Stay tuned for details!
This great all purpose curry paste keeps for about 1-2 weeks.