Monday, September 20, 2010

Baingan Bharta w/ Homemade Naan

Indian food is definitely some of my favorite food ever. Michael and I go out to eat quite often and generally we end up at an Indian place. I've never tried to make Indian food until now. I chose Baingan Bharta because it's one of my favorite dishes and because we had some fresh eggplant from the Farmer's Market. I also decided to make some naan because, well, what's Indian food without fresh naan?

makes 12 naan

2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast
1 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c. all-purpose bread flour
1 egg equivalent (I used 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp. water)

- I used my breadmaker to knead the dough and all that. If you're not using a breadmaker for this, activate the yeast using the warm water. Let stand until frothy. Stir in everything else except flour and mix. Incorporate flour into the mix until it becomes a doughy consistency. Knead this on a floured surface until it becomes smooth. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth and let it rise an hour or longer (my breadmaker kneads and rises an hour and a half).
- After dough has risen, pick off roughly 2-inch diameter balls and roll them with your palms. Place these balls on a floured surface and cover with a damp cloth for 15 minutes or so. This is just to make the dough easier to roll out.
- Heat a griddle or large skillet (I used a skillet) on medium to medium-high heat. Make sure you spray a bit of oil on the surface.
- As that is heating up, use a rolling pin to flatten the balls of dough into an elongated shape. Since I was using a skillet instead of a griddle, I couldn't make them too elongated or they wouldn't fit into the skillet.
- Cook naan for a few minutes, flip, and cook for a few minutes longer until they turn a golden or brown color.
(these were the first naan I made. These first ones turned out pretty dense. I got better at making them as I went along)

-Place on cooling rack.

Feel free to knead garlic, onions, or whatever else into the dough when you are making the smaller balls. I wanted mine plain so I didn't add anything.

Baingan Bharta

2 eggplants
1 1/2 medium sized white onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 can of diced tomatoes (I didn't have any fresh tomatoes or I would've used those. I used a small can of tomatoes w/ green chilies)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt

- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place eggplants on a cookie sheet and spritz with some oil. Bake these in the oven for 25 minutes or so or until they are slightly blackened and bubbly-looking.
- Place on cooling rack.

- While the eggplants are cooling, heat up a little bit of oil in a pot on medium heat. Once oil is heated, place chopped onions in it and cook until almost see-through. Make sure to stir the onions occasionally.
- While the onions are cooking, peel and chop eggplants. I chopped mine into fairly large pieces. I think next time I will chop them up smaller.
- When onions are just about right, place the chopped eggplants, tomatoes, garlic, and spices in with the onions. Stir and cook covered for about 10 minutes.

- Make sure to check on this every so often. It seemed to dry up after a few minutes so you may want to add a little bit of water to it.
- This should be about done cooking when your entire house (or apartment) smells of baingan bharta. Yum!

- Serve with your freshly made naan and some white or long grain rice!

This meal was amazing! The naan was perfectly cooked and tasted just like the naan I would get in a restaurant. I would've liked the baingan bharta better if I chopped it up into smaller pieces and added peas, but that didn't stop Michael and I from eating it! I will no doubt make this meal again. It was surprisingly easier than I thought! I think what I will do different next time is add peas and chop it up finer. Other than that, I think it was a hit!

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