2 medium globe eggplants
2-3 tbsp oil (I use avocado oil)
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
2-3 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
2-3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2in knob of ginger, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp (or more) red chile powder
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 green chile, minced
Cilantro for garnish
Set broiler on high. Make sure you have a shelf in the middle of your oven.
Wash and dry eggplants.
Using a knife, make a few slits in the eggplant. If you forget, the eggplant could explode in your oven. Ask me how I know or check out the picture below. *hides head in shame*
Line a tray or ovenproof dish with aluminum foil, place eggplants on foil, and broil on high in the middle shelf of your oven for about 15-20 minutes or as long as it takes for the outer skin to char slightly. Be aware that you will not get the classic smoky flavor when eggplants are broiled instead of roasted directly on an open flame.
Set your times for anywhere between 6-8 minutes and turn the eggplant over when the timer goes off, and then set the timer for another 6-8 minutes. Repeat until done. Or until you’re done prepping and cooking the masala.
As the eggplants are being broiled, slice the onions.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or kadhai. Add sliced onions and about 1 tsp of salt. Sauté until softened.
Mince ginger and garlic.
Add to onions in saucepan. Stir-fry for a couple minutes.
Chop tomatoes and add to saucepan. Cook down until tomatoes have softened. I use my own whole canned tomatoes, and break them down with a wooden spoon.
Remove eggplants from oven and carefully slice open. That is, if they have not exploded on you! Using a spoon, scoop out the steaming hot innards.
You do not want the charred or dried-up outer skin. Add the eggplant meat directly to the saucepan. If there is any seemingly “tough” meat left near the stalk-end of the eggplant, scoop that out, place it on your cutting board and chop into smaller pieces. Add this to the saucepan.
Mix well and then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, especially salt.
Squeeze about 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice into the bharta. Add minced green chile and chopped cilantro.
Mix well, turn off heat and serve hot with rotis or take to a potluck as a dip with pita chips or tortilla chips.