The Food To Glow version of the iconic Punjabi dish based on fire-roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices. Mixed with pasta and topped with creamy, indulgent burrata.
Prick the eggplants with a skewer or thin-bladed knife in a few places. Flame-roast the eggplants, turning every few minutes with tongs, until charred and collapsed - about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then peel the skin - its easy to do - and chop the pale smoky flesh. Set aside. You can roast the eggplants in the oven if you don't have a gas stove. Heat the oven to 220C fan/ 240C/450F and place the pricked eggplants on a foil-lined tray. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, or until collapsed. This is a good method but doesn't add much in the way of smoky flavor.
Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan, adding the onions and a good pinch of salt - about 1/4 teaspoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Add in the minced garlic, chopped chili and ginger, turmeric, black pepper, Kashimir chili powder and tomatoes, mixing well. Sauté until the oil separates from the mixture at the sides and the tomatoes are pulpy in texture.
Add in the chopped cooked eggplant and mix well. Let this cook down until the oil again separates out to the sides. Just about done! Stir in the lime juice, garam masala and cilantro.
While the sauce is cooking down to a jammy fragrant mulch, cook the pasta as directed. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well add it back to the cooking pan and pour over the baingan bharta, mixing well.
Heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chopped preserved lemon, chili powder, kalonji seeds and salt. There will be some serious spluttering so take care. Let this sizzle for 30 seconds and immediately take it off the heat
Portion the Baingan Bharta Pasta into individual dishes, drizzling over the hot tarka and tearing up the burrata to top. Serve hot.
If you don't fancy having this with pasta, serve in a traditional way with hot roti or chapati, plus some seasoned rice (cumin-scented or turmeric rice is excellent).
And, if you don't care for the burrata, just leave it out. Perhaps add some sautéed tofu pieces for a bit of protein. Or serve the Baingan Bharta as a side dish.