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Turn your grill on.
Clean eggplant, then use a knife to poke holes throughout.
Rub eggplants with oil, then let roast until they are nicely cooked throughly. You should see a nice char develop. Take off the grill and let cool.
Then peel the skin off and remove the stem.
Chop the roasted eggplant and set aside.
Heat oil in a large pot, and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds (optional).
Then add finely chopped onion cook.
Once onion has softened, add ginger, then garlic. Salt to taste.
Add tomatoes and cook until they are soft (8-10 minutes)
Add remaining spices: red chili pepper powder, turmeric power, coriander powder, and garam masala).
Cook together for 2-3 minutes.
Add roasted eggplant (baingan) to the pan and stir.
Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
Garnish dish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.
Note: Original recipe calls for asafoetida (also known as hing) but we didn't have it when we made this dish.
I read online that a substitute for this spice, which is common in South Indian vegetarian dishes, is a combination of onion and garlic.
Since this dish has both, we opted to skip out on the asafoetida (hing).