Friday, April 21, 2017

Baingan bartha - using oven roasted baingan

These days I am really hooked onto kannada serials. We had subscribed some Indian channels when my parents had visited. 
My mom was in the habit of watching these melodramatic serials, that specialize in storyline :) As my brother says, one cannot help but wonder what kind of a brain can come up with such stories. And then the story basically goes round and round in an infinite loop. Once in a while it goes in a tangent giving the illusion that it might end, but it would just start going in a different circle, this time a bigger one. Anyways, I had the time of my life making fun of these serials during my last visit to India and I was secretly hoping that I would enjoy it  equally this time around watching it with my mom. But my mom herself had given up watching these serials, saying that the storyline is getting worse by the day. The one serial in particular that I was making fun of, has still not ended, after 3 long years!! And guess what, the story is STILL THE SAME. A boy and a girl are married and nobody knows about it except these two, even after 3 YRS!  WOW!! Just so you know, these serials are aired everyday. That is (365-weekends) * 3 days. I must say, this kind of dragging is an art :)

Moreover by just watching the advertisements of these serials, you pretty much get the gist of what is happening. You don’t have to watch the whole serial. Still how so many seemingly intelligent people are hooked on to it, is a mystery to me. I was very intrigued to find out. Two new serials started right after my parents left. And I started watching them, you know, to solve the mystery :D 
I had warned my husband that if at all he wanted to remove the service, this was the time, before I start. But he wanted to keep the service for “cricket matches”. Now it’s too late. I am two months into these serials and there is no turning back. He has no choice, he has to watch it with me :) I can see myself getting pulled into it, curious to know what is going to happen today, but nothing happens, and I know what should happen. The thing that is supposed to happen, happens only after 2 or 3 weeks. So what happens everyday? basically nothing, but it is giving the illusion of something is happening. 

Now I think, I somewhat debugged how it is done. Basically you tell the story before hand. For example, in one of the serial I am currently watching, you are already let know, that by the end of a particular day, both hero and heroine are supposed to get married. Suppose that day starts today in “Serial Time”. Remember time is an illusion. 1 day of Serial time = could be easily 1 month of real time. It starts by people saying that something important is going to happen today. Then every 2-3 days(remember it is still the same day in Serial Time), there is a new twist, preventing that thing from happening. Then finally everything sorts out and after 3 weeks or so the day ends and they get married. So everyday people(like me) will turn on the serial hoping that the couple would get married today. But it’s postponed for tomorrow. I think that’s how they are keeping people hooked on to their channel. 
With this new found knowledge, I plan to watch further to see if it can really keep my interest going or it’ll just die down soon. I’ll keep y’ll updated :)

Coming to the recipe, 
Since I no longer have gas stove, I had stopped roasting eggplant for certain dishes. But roasting is roasting. The taste of the dish drastically changes by this one procedure. This particular recipe oven roasts eggplant. And the job was less messy compared to roasting it on the stove. The dish turned out lip smacking. Do try!

Eggplant - 1 big
Onion - 1 big
Tomato - 2 medium
Garlic - 3
Ginger - a small piece
Green chili - 2(very mild)
Red chili powder - optional
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - handful

1 tbsp of ghee - optional - tip by

Roast eggplant
Take a foil lined baking sheet/pan. Smear oil on eggplant and bake in the oven @350 F. Original recipe bakes it at high temperature 500 F. It took me about 15-20 min. I turned it once in between - I don’t think turning was necessary. 
You can roast it on a gas stove. But it is little messy as juices ooze out as it chars. 

Once it cools down little bit, peel the skin. It should come off easily. Cut off the stem. Crush the pulp with a spoon. Keep it aside. 

In a wide pan, add oil. Add jeera. Once it splutters add crushed garlic and ginger. Add chopped onion + little salt. Sauté till translucent. Add green chillies. Add turmeric. Add chopped tomatoes. Add cumin and coriander powder. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Add finely chopped cilantro. Add crushed eggplant. Cover and cook for few more minutes until eggplant is nicely incorporated in the dish, and oil oozes out.
Add a tbsp ghee in the end. Serve hot with chapathi.


  • One big eggplant made only a cereal-bowl full of curry.   

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