It was a long silent winter night with moon shone brightly in the dark sky flirting with zillions of stars, we were on a road trip winding our ways through the jungles of Madhya Pradesh, the central state of India, where the big wild cats occasionally meets and greets you, just like on a wild safari trip, dotted with some tribal villages along its rustic paths, a strong waft of charred eggplants rustles up its way towards us, leaving us famished and infuriate the hunger with the glints of its charred skin romancing and swirling high up in the air. The stop was inevitable, we deviate from our route in search of the rustic flavor.
The night was cold and as we snuggle cozily around the fire, watching the shiny and velvety purple skin of eggplant slowly carbonizing on a firewood, smoked with soft amber flesh sneaking at places with juices slowly dripping on the wood, an earthy flavor of rotis warming up on chulha next to the eggplant, life seems to be on a endless path of romanticism, food never seems to be so intoxicating before.
Shifting with tongs, the charred skin of eggplants then beaten up to reveal the soft amber colored flesh beneath, mashed to release the juices, smeared with spices, few green chillies, the burnt garlic, teaming up with some onions and seared on hot tava with drizzle of mustard oil, baingan ka bharta was ready to satiate the appetite, and few drops of tangy juices of lemon over it creates the magic. The flavour was truly rustic and unmatched.
From the rustic flavors of true India, lets move across the deep blue seas onto Mediterranean region where baba ghanouj is waiting for us. The eggplant here is subjected to similar fate and is roasted, mashed and then pureed along with vegetables, sometimes olives, tahini, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice. Mostly it is served as an appetizer here.
Continents apart, these two dish looks like an identical twins, separated at birth or may share a common lineage which can be traced back along the old spice route. So, when our rustic and desi baingan ka bharta decided to go on a maiden voyage across the sea, our excitement knew no bounds, we decided to bring on all the Mediterranean flavours that symbolizes the region. Purist may not lap it up all at once, but for the one who loved to explore different flavors and with a little twist, this is the one that is going to surprise you. Mark my words for it.
This post is written as a part of Guest Post for Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds, whose recipes and write ups coupled with tempting food photos has enticed me long back. When she approached me a month back to do a guest post for her, I was super excited but unfortunately she had to wait patiently for me as I took sometime to settle down in a new city. Thanks Kalyani for trusting me and understanding me. As for the food trends, there is a paradigm shift in Indian Cuisine, fusion is very much in the scene, I would not say that average Indian foodies are adventurous but slowly they are accepting the changes, and spices like paprika and capers, gouda cheese and many such things are slowly invading the Indian housewife’s pantry.
Please follow me to Kalyani’s Sizzling Tastebuds for the recipe in detail.
Some fusion idea to enjoy the smoked eggplants or baingan ka bharta is to scoop a spoonful of baingan ka bharta on a sesame cracker, sprinkle some cheese over it and enjoy !!!
Thanks for being with us, hope you have enjoyed it.
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