Bharta, or bhurta, in Hindi refers to any lightly spiced, mashed mix of vegetables. There are several recipes for bharta that are popular in India, with baigan (Hindi for eggplant) being the most popular. You can buy black mustard seeds and garam masala at Indian markets and online.
Serves: 6Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 12 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 medium-size whole eggplant
- 2 Thai green chilies
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 medium-size tomatoes
- 1 cup boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed
- 3 Tbsp. oil
- ½ tsp. black mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1½ Tbsp. coriander powder
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Wash the eggplant and tomatoes with water. Wipe off dry. Make 5–6 small slits on the eggplant. (Not very deep). Carefully push the whole green chilies and garlic cloves, one each, into the slits. Use aluminum foil sheets to wrap the eggplant and tomatoes individually.
- Place the packets into the slow cooker, making sure each one touches the surface. Cover and cook on low for 10–12 hours or until they are cooked and soft inside. The tomatoes will take less time to cook, so add them to the slow cooker toward the last 2 hours of cooking or take them out when they are cooked.
- Take the cooked eggplant and tomatoes out of the foil and let them cool down before peeling the outer skin. Take the skin off the vegetables and then mash them together with the boiled potatoes. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. As they sputter, add the turmeric and coriander powder. Cook for 2–4 seconds and then add the onion. Cook until the onions turn translucent. Then add the thawed green peas and salt. Cover and cook for 4–5 minutes.
- Add the garam masala and the mashed vegetables. Cook on medium-high heat for 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.