17 November, 2008

Baingan Ka Bharta with Sorry Tale of my Life...

Baingan Ka Bharta

One month after our wedding…
Dial 009108£$%^&*!”
~Trinnnnn, trin…. Trinnnnn, trin~ (oh, that’s old dial mode-walah telephone ringing)

Amma: Helloooo…
Me: Amma… ~sob, sob~
Amma: ~Little worried~ What happened dear-first-born-and-at-last-married-and-gone?
Me: Amma, I want to come back to India.
Amma: Err… Why? Where is apple-of-my-eyes-son-in-law?
Me: He is in his office and I am all alone. I am bored here. I want to come back.
Amma: Oh! That’s all? Read books. I will send you few more novels by your favourite writers as soon as possible along with another jar of your favourite Mavina kai midi pickle.
Me: No, I want to come home! To my own house, my room, my books and my things. Don’t you miss me at all?
Amma: ~Clears her throat~ Well, not that much. You see now we have Bubbly with us now and she keeps me on my toes 24/7. She has shifted to your room and she likes to sleep under your bed. And naughty girl that she is, other day she climbed your bed and hid under your favourite blanket.
Me: What? How could you let her sleep in my room?
Amma: She loves your room as it is spacious and clean unlike your brother and sisters. And as it has got that large balcony looking at the street, Bubbly likes to sit in your swing and practice her singing. She is very talented singer you know. Such a small baby girl, yet so smart and talented.
Me: ~trying hard to disguise the pain~ But Amma, you sure must miss talking to me.
Amma: Actually, I am so busy knitting new blanket for my baby girl that I hardly get time to miss you. She is a great company and follows me everywhere I go. Poor child, other night she woke us up at middle of the night. She was crying and wailing in her sleep. She must be missing her mommy. So we decided to let her take your room. And anyways, you won’t be coming for one full year. Well, I got to go now. It’s dinner time for Bubbly. She must be hungry by now. Don’t know where your dad is. I asked him to get a bottle of calcium tablets along with shampoo for Bubbly from medical shop. Oh, I must remind him to get that new food pack of food for her. You know Dentasticks or something like that which keep their teeth and gums healthy. Yeah, Pedigree one… Good night Sia. Give my love to Alimayya. Will talk to you some other time.
Me: ~Stares at the phone with puzzled and confused and $%^& look~

That is how I have been disowned by my own parents. The day I stepped into an international flight with tears in my eyes and pain of separation from my dear and near ones, my parents and this-janam-ka-dushmans a.k.a. my brother and sister, they steered their car to my cousin’s house to pick new member of the family, 5 weeks old Bubbly. When it comes to breed, Bubbly is doubly(?!) pure breed. Well, she is a cross breed of Dachshund mother and Pomeranian father and has thus inherited her mother’s body and her father’s ears and nose ;)

That auspicious Friday (auspicious because I decided to not just leave my parents home but also my country as my siblings keep reminding me) morning 5 weeks old white with block spots roly-poly came to our home with band and banners!!! Every dog has a day and this dog, oopsy Bubbly, sure has many days! I am not only disowned and replaced by a dog at home but I am forced to talk to her every time I call home. So the conversation between me my mother goes like this…

Call 1:
Me: Hi Amma… What’s up?
Amma: Bubbly won’t let me give her bath. I bought this new shampoo for her because the last one didn’t smell good! But now I can’t find her. She is hiding somewhere! I don’t know how she finds out that I am going to give her a bath!
Me: Err…

Call 2:
Me: Hi Amma… How are you?
Amma: Oh what can I say? Trust me, I didn’t worry so much when you were teenagers. It’s becoming difficult to manage the ever growing list of Bubbly’s admirers coming to meet her. You know our neighbour’s Tommy right? The very same dangerous Alsatian who barks non-stop? What a shameless dog!!! He jumped our 6 feet high compound wall other night. Thank god, Bubbly was sleeping inside that night!
Me: ~thud, thud, thud~ Censored~

Call 3:
Me: Hi Amma…
Amma: wait, Bubbly wants to talk to you. I will hold the receiver near her ears and you talk to her…
Me: But Amma…
Amma: Shhh… She is listening. Talk to her…
Me: Err… Bubbly… err… How are you?
Bubbly: Bow…wow…. Grrrrr… (Translates: Don’t you dare to come back. It’s my home now!)
Amma: Choo chweet. She knows that its you calling.
Me: Whatever…

And this week’s call:
Me: Hi Amma… How are you?
Amma: ~sob, sob~ Hello…
Me: What happened?
Amma: I don’t know what to say? ~sob, sobs~
Me: Amma, please tell me what happened?
Amma: Our Bubbly is pregnant. We don’t know who the father is…
Me: ~Thud, thud, thud~

So our dear, heartthrob of every male dog in our street/neighbourhood/city, Bubbly is turning 3 year old this week and also heavily pregnant with her first child. While my mom is taking good care of her first grandchild’s arrival I celebrated it with Baingan Ka Bharta. Please pray that all goes well with my sistahhhhh…. Mu ha ha ha…

Baingan Ka Bharta is hot favourite of mine when it comes to Aubergine/Eggplant dish. Wonder why it took this long for me to post this recipe. My Amma makes the best Baingan Ka Bharta back home where she roasts the eggplants on direct burning charcoal which gives it a very heady and smoky flavour. Here I grill it in my ancient gas grill and sometimes cook it in oven. Although the end dish is not as flavourful as the one roasted on charcoal it always gets thumbs up when I cook it for my friends. Like many other Indian foods, Baingan Ka Bharta also has zillions of recipes from different kitchens across the India. So here is one of those zillions of recipes for Baingan Ka Bharta.

Baingan Ka Bharta

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Baingan Bharta (Smoky and Spicy Mashed Eggplants)
Prep Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 30-35 mins

Serves: 3-4

1 large purple Eggplant
1 large Onion, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped (Adjust acc to taste)
½ inch Ginger, finely chopped
4-5 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tsp Roasted Cumin & Coriander Powder
½-1 tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
½ tsp Aamchur/Dry Mango Powder
½ tbsp Oil+ ½ tbsp Ghee or 1 tbsp Oil or Ghee
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Baingan Ka Bharta

Prick the surface of eggplant with knife or fork which will help in even roasting of eggplants. Heat oven or grill and broil or grill the eggplant till its surface is wilted/charred and cooked, about 15-20 mins depending on the type of oven/grill you use. Or you can roast the eggplant on direct flame, on medium heat turning it around, till its surface is charred and the whole egg plant is cooked. This gives a lovely smoky flavour to the egg plant.
Place this grilled eggplant in a large bowl and cover it with a lid or cling film. Let the eggplant cool completely and sweat. Once cooled, peel the charred skin, stem and discard. Mash the cooked eggplant with a potato masher or by hand and keep it aside.
Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it sizzles, add finely chopped garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Now add finely chopped ginger and green chillies and sauté it for another 30 seconds on medium flame. Mix in finely chopped onion and sauté it on medium flame for 1-2 mins till it turns light golden brown in colour.
Now add garam masala, red chilli powder and cumin-coriander powder and sauté it for 30 seconds. Mix in finely chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes on the medium flame till it releases its juice and turns pulpy.
Add mashed eggplant, dry mango powder and salt to taste and combine well. Let it cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, till the whole mixture becomes little dry. This gives the second layer of smoky flavour to the eggplants.
Serve hot garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves and chopped red onion with any Indian flat bread or Rice and enjoy.

To get smoky flavour to the eggplant, place mashed eggplant in a wide plate and place a small steel bowl in a centre. Then place few pieces of burning coal in the bowl and pour 1 tsp of oil or ghee on it. Cover the plate with wide lid and let it rest for 2-3 mins. This is the simplest way to get smoky flavour to your Bharta.
Insert 3-4 small garlic cloves in the eggplant by making small slit and roast it on the oven or on gas fire. The garlic inserted will get roasted along with the eggplant and gives it wonderful aroma and flavour.


  1. my friend made this for me last week... I say, "Why bother meself?" ;-)

  2. Bubbly aur Bunty ki jodi ho hi gayi even after all the guarding:)

    Baingan doing the rounds today! Anu did the curry version and you the bharta - these are the only ways I like them!

  3. Well Umm..loads of luck for Bubbly for her first child....loved reading abt bubbly...bubbly might be a happy .....It's good that ur mom is taking good care of bubbly....Do keep us updated about bubbly...ok bye cya.....lolz
    Well won't turn ur life more Sob-sob-by by not mentioning abt Baingan ka bartha ;-)
    Few years back on his trip to US my hubby dear who is fussy eater told me he ate baingan ka bartha at some Indian Restaurant....while having this conversation i was travelling in Rickshaw...and i almost fell off ...shocked by wht i heard ,it took time for me to gain normalcy coz my hubby had never in his life touched Baingan leave aside eating it...after much of cajoling he told me tht it tasted like pavbhaji...since then i was searching for some recipe for this bartha which wud taste like pavbhaji...and i guess i can blindly follow this recipe and get the desired results....btw do u have any tips abt how it cud actually taste like pavbhaji ??

  4. Oh sia i love this post. You left out because of the bubbly.
    Atleast now you can feel better, bubbly is feeling fat and tired and you are thin and beautiful.
    Looking forward to know how many small puppies bubbly will have.
    Don't get now jealous when amm say bubblies puppies are sweeter than you :-)

  5. Hilarious Sia, Bubbly pregnant! Just one or many? This is one awesome looking Baingan ka Bharta.
    Take heart, mom can't teach Bubbly cooking, though the room went to her ;)

  6. hahha enjoyed reading your post..bharta looks yumm..

  7. Lovely post and BB.No words to express my happiness(laughs) about the bubbly Bubbly and hope you put the fotos of her and her Romeo with their pups(oops kids)soon :D

  8. Thats so funny to read ..
    so Oye Bubly! is going to mmm..
    Baigan ka Bharta looks delicious..
    even yesterday i roasted a Baigan..
    am sure amchur powder adds that extra zing to it ..
    hugs and smiles

  9. "Thud Thud Thud"..well...well..don't worry that was my head rocking as I was trying to control my laughter as the whole house is asleeep!..I didn't want to wake them with me rolling down...sia pls tell me that those conversations are your imagination!!!..pullseeee..anyway hope your nephew/niece come out cute..hhahahaha

  10. Lovely post of yours Sia, i am sooo sorry for you.
    Baingam Bhata looks very delicious. lovely Click.

  11. Lovely post of yours Sia, i am sooo sorry for you.
    Baingam Bhata looks very delicious. Nice Click.

  12. Lovely post of yours Sia, i am sooo sorry for you.
    Baingam Bhata looks very delicious. Nice Click.

  13. LOL,bubbly invaded ur room after u left!
    B.Bharta is creamy and delish :)

  14. hehehee!! "do't know who the father is..." LOLLLL!!!!!

  15. I really like your site, I stop by often but this is first time commenting. Your stories about your sistah are so funny. How cute. I like Indian food and would like to prepare more of it at home so I'll keep checking in and looking for your good recipes.

  16. All the best to your Bubbly;-)...the bharta looks delish.

  17. That was like a cute little short story.

    Love baigan ka bharta. Yes nothing can beat the grilled one... i used to do it in my gas grill broiler that my oven had. don't have it any more. Nevertheless an all time fav.

  18. That was hilarious!! Your Mom sounds like mine. While I wasn't replaced by a dog,err, 'Bubbly', most of my 'to India' calls ends up about Tony and Ceaser :))

  19. hi sia..
    lovely post!
    i have had the pleasure of meeting Bubbly..n i must say she is one sweet gal :).
    n i cant wait to make the bharta for luch tomorro !!!it loooks soooo yummy!!!


  20. Ha ha, brilliant. I have also been cast aside for the German Shepherd if it's any consolation. Now can I have some baingan bharta please...

  21. I have never had Baingan Bharta although my mother made it all the time. I think it's time to rectify that and this might just have pushed me closer to that goal.

  22. That was hilarious...thanks for sharing it, along with the bhartha recipe.

  23. LOL! Loved reading every bit of it. We had a german shepherd dog too - Bobby. Same to same feelings when we came to know she was pregnant.

    I love your b.bharta..i am going to make it sometime this week.. been craving for a while now.

  24. Hey Sia, enjoyed reading your post about Bubbly:)))...I love dogs so much, wish I had one at my place like your mom does!! I wish all goes very well with her:)..btw, baigan bharta recipe looks yummy,too...I got too caught up in your phone conversations;)

  25. LOL..you had me fooled! Bharta looks lovely.

  26. This I could understand every single words of u'rs as I too have a similar experience. I was off at Coimbatore for 2.5 years when I was working and a little dog (fortunately male) was replacing me. I am seeing my own picture when u described the phone calls and couldn't stop laughing. Such a hilarious ilr u are. And I love the "dear-first-born-and-at-last-married-and-gone". simply superb!

  27. enjoyed readin bubbly tail,...:-) baingan bhartha looks yum,..

  28. Hmmmmmmmm lol, best wishes to bubbly. I agree with sunshinemom. Baigan ka bartha looks yummy. Adding raw chopped onions is giving yummy look to the recipe.

  29. lol.. Loved reading your conversations with your amma.. :) Out of sight, out of mind! That happens, sia :)

    Baingan bartha looks utterly delicious :)

  30. Good one...Nice story..well baingan baratha looks nice.

  31. Good reading this Sia.....I get irritated when i call my mom and all she can do is talk ab other kids etc.
    Baingan bartha looks delicious.

  32. What a fun post to read, thought not fun experiences for you :) Eggplant looks delicious!

  33. Wow, Nice conversation Sia !! Ur mom is really taking good care of Bubbly !!
    Bartha is mouth watering.. Shall try soon !!

    I have a pet cat called Gunndu.. And my mom is taking care of it now in India.. Reminded my days with Gunndu :)!!

  34. ri Sia, bubly kathe keli susthagostu nagu banthu. Aakege sukhavagi herige aagali antha haaraisthini. Mathe Bhartha bahala chennagi ide, nimma photo bagge helbeke? excellent!

  35. ha ha ha hilarious post sia!! lolzzzz...

    Lovely baigan! yummmmmmyy!!

  36. Sia its quite the same story but sth's are opposite here.....Its at my In-laws house...Its Bunty..Its Male...Same Breed..and its my MIL who takes such a good care of him....Recently he became a father.....What a co-incidence!!!

    Bainga bartha is a must in my kitchen...

  37. That's so funny Sia :-)

    I love baingan ka bartha too. Yours looks delicious, as usual :)

  38. oh but you must update us with pictures of the kids sia :)

  39. That's one catty tale...LOL!

    I made your Baingan ks Bharta and it came tops...thanx so much!

    Love your blog...will be visiting it regularly now.

  40. @Lubna,
    I am glad that u enjoyed the bharta :)


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