A Pakistani baingan bartha dish
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|Eggplant, with onions, tomatoes and spices|
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Baingan bharta or Baingan ka bhurtha or Baingan da bhurtha (Hindi: बैंगन भरता, Urdu: بینگن کا بھرتہ ) (Mashed Eggplant) is a South Asian dish bearing a resemblance to baba ganoush. Baingan bharta is a part of the national cuisines of both India and Pakistan. It is primarily a vegetarian dish that comprises bhurtha (minced vegetables) made from eggplant (baingan) which is grilled over charcoal or direct fire, to infuse the dish with a smoky flavour. The smoked eggplant is mashed with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), chili pepper, onion and mustard oil. Traditionally, the dish is often eaten with an Indian flatbread (specifically roti or paratha) and is also served with rice and/or raita, a yogurt salad. Baingan bartha is also eaten in Bangladesh.
In Pakistan, baingan bharta is popular cuisine, while in India it is also a part of the cuisines of Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa, and West Bengal. The dish has many names depending on the local language (Hindi: “बैंगन का भरता", Gujarati: "odo", Bengali: বেগুন ভর্তা "begun bhôrta", Marathi: "wangyache bharit").
In the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Tamils prepare a similar dish called "kathrikai thayir kothsu", in which the eggplant is cooked, mashed and sautéed with mustard, red chilis and sesame oil. The final step in the recipe involves adding curd to the mixture and dressing the dish with coriander leaves.
In the Bhoj-Puri speaking region such as the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and west Bihar it is known as Baigan ka chokha, it also popular within the Caribbean Indo-Community such as Trinadad, Suriname and Guyana where descendants of indentured laborers from Northern India live.
Eggplant is popular in Afghanistan in the form of a traditional salad called "bonjan salad", which is usually served at room temperature (or cold) together with main dishes. The "bonjan salad" dish is served with a variety of breads and is similar to another Afghani dish called "baingan ka raita" (Urdu: بینگن کا رائتہ ).
In Maharashtra, especially in northern parts known as Khandesh, "Vangyache Bharit" as they call it is served in social gatherings including wedding ceremonies. During harvest season, special "Bharit Party" is organised. Baharit is usually served with "Puri".
In a protest against BT Brinjal and the introduction of genetically modified crops, volunteers from Greenpeace and Delhi's Le Méridien hotel cooked 342 kilograms (754 lb) of organic "brinjal bharta" ("baigan ka bharta") at Dilli Haat, New Delhi on September 6, 2011. This set a world record for the largest amount of the dish produced in one occasion of preparation. A portion of the final dish was sent to the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s residence, accompanied by a letter of protest containing an explanation.
- Jaffrey, M. - World of the East Vegetarian Cooking - Knopf (1983) ISBN 0-394-40271-5
- "Protesters say no to BT Brinjal in a unique way". Hindustan Times. September 06, 2011.
- "Giant Baigan ka Bharta makes for a delicious record". The Times of India. September 7, 2011.
- Baingan bharta with herbs and spices
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