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The first time I tried this Indian eggplant stew (it’s actually Baingan Bharta if you’re well-versed in Indian cuisine) I was blown away by how tasty it was. Actually, blown away is the wrong word, because if there’s one thing I’ve come to know about Indian food, is that it’s always tasty. Next to sushi, it’s my all-time favorite food to eat.
There’s a little restaurant in the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco called Roti. If you’re in town and you love Indian cuisine, this place is a must hit. It doesn’t have the best ambiance, so best to go there for a quick dinner and then head to the fun wine bar a few doors up the street for post-dinner cocktails. I recommend you order a plate of Baingan Bharta and an order of their Tandoori Machch (a mix of salmon and veggies roasted in yummy spices) and you’ll be set with a perfect low carb, healthy meal that’s packed with protein and veggies.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a creative way to get your veggies in this fall season that’s NOT pumpkin related (because I’m already sick of all things pumpkin and it’s only September), then this is a great option to try at home.
NOTE – you do have to get a little fancy with the eggplant skin, so I’m not sure how this would work with an electric stove. I would try baking the skin off it instead or put it under the broiler.
ALSO NOTE: You will need Garam Masala to spice the stew. I recommend using the McCormick brand if you can find it. It’s a super versatile spice.
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Gharam Masala
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger, I used ginger in a tube
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped finely
- Garnish with cilantro
- 1/2 cup Yogurt or coconut milk , Optional
- Wash the eggplant and put little slits (about 9) an inch long all around the body of the eggplant
- Cut the garlic cloves into long pieces and slide them into the slits of the eggplant
- Roast the eggplant over an open flame for about 8 to 10 minutes so the inside of the eggplant gets somewhat cooked. NOTE: it’s okay that the skin gets charred as it will come off easily)
- Once the eggplant is roasted on all sides, set it aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and add to a hot pan with the oil (note, never cook olive oil on high heat). Cook until translucent and then add in Gharam Masala spice and ginger. Then add tomatoes and cover the pan to let everything cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Now peel the chard skin off the cooled eggplant so you’re left with a naked, almost-cooked eggplant.
- Remove the stem and chop into little pieces then add to the tomatoes and onions.
- Let the mixture cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until really mushy. You can serve this way, or use a hand blender to blend the stew into a pulp.
- Add milk or yogurt at the end if you like a creamier texture. It's not necessary, but a nice touch.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve warm
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.