There are many things that I did not enjoy eating as a child. Eggplant was one of them. I don’t know if it was the slightly bitter taste or the texture of the vegetable, I just was not a fan.
As I grew older, I opened up to eggplant a little bit but it was always masked by something else like cheese, tomato sauce or breaded and fried. Everything tastes good fried. This all changed when I sampled baigan choka for the first time. It was eggplant with a few other ingredients and it was delicious!
Baigan choka is traditionally served with roti. However, it is so versatile that I have used it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps and served it as a vegetable dip.
|Ciabatta role, baigan choka, mixed greens, feta cheese
and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette…YUM!
1 large eggplant (baigan)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into quarters
1 large tomato
½ onion thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
Minced fresh hot pepper (optional) – I used ¼ of scotch bonnet pepper
Heat oven to 450F
Take a knife and make deeps incisions all over the eggplant
Insert the pieces of garlic all the way into the incisions
Roast eggplant in the oven until cooked (approx. 40 min). Turn occasionally.
Roast the tomato whole for approx. 20 min
Once eggplant is cooked, remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes
Slice eggplant in half, lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the insides and place in a bowl
Use a fork to mash the eggplant OR, if you would like a smoother consistency, place in a food processor and pulse it a couple of times.
Repeat the step above with the roasted tomato
Place mashed eggplant and tomato into a bowl and add finely chopped pepper
Heat oil in pan and sauté onion slices for 30 seconds
Pour onions and oil over eggplants and tomatoes, combine all ingredients and you are ready to serve!
Note: For a smoky flavor, roast the whole eggplant on the open flame of a gas burner or cook it on the grill. Once cooked, remove and discard the charred skin.