Who knew a simple, traditional Indian dish when deconstructed would taste even better and healthy. I present to you the ‘Baingan Bharta salad aka Eggplant Salad 2.0. Loaded with spices, fresh ingredients and flavor. The best part- it is quick, easy and only 5 main ingredients.
In the traditional recipe, the eggplant is coated with oil and roasted whole on an open flame to get the char and smokiness. Instead, I decided to cube them and roast them in an oven smothered in all the spices that would make the seasoning for the dish which are primarily coriander, mustard garlic and turmeric.
Next I pan roasted these beautiful baby tomatoes from the farmers market in olive oil, salt and a dash of garlic powder.
And now for the secret ingredient- pink peppercorns. I fell in love with these last summer at a spice store in Seattle. They are absolutely divine in fragrance and flavor. Definitely give them a try.
For the final steps, the roasted eggplant was laid on a bed of baby kale salad leaves followed by the blistered tomatoes, a drizzle of the yogurt dressing and a generous sprinkle of cilantro leaves and store brought fried onions. VOILA!!
Eggplant 'Bharta' Salad
- 2 no eggplant cubed
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 no garlic cloves whole
- 25 no cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 cups baby kale salad leaves loosely packed
- 1/2 cup yogurt dairy or non dairy
- 2 tsp pink peppercorn whole
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
- 3 tbsp fried onions store bought
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
For the salad
- Preheat oven to 425 deg F
- In a mortar and pestle coriander seeds, mustard seeds, salt, turmeric. Crush till the seeds are a coarse powder and then add oil to the mix.
- Toss the eggplant, whole garlic cloves with the spices and spread on a sheet pan.
- Sprinkle the fennel seeds and put the pan in the oven for 25 -30 min till the eggplants get a nice golden color and the skin is crisp.
- Meanwhile in a pan, add olive oil, tomatoes, salt and garlic powder. Saute on medium heat till the tomatoes skin bursts open and it gets a slight char about 15 minutes.
- mix all the dressing ingredients together and add a bit of water if the yogurt is too thick.Note: if vegan use an almond/ coconut based yogurt
- Now to assemble: Arrange a bed of salad leaves and layer with eggplant and tomatoes.
- Drizzle generously with the salad dressing with extra served on the side.A handful of chopped cilantro, fried onions and chilli flakes.
Serve hot or at room temperature. This salad works as a great side or a meal in itself.
My husband loves eggplants and to quote him ” this might be the best way he has eaten them in a very long time”. Thanks babe. Healthy, nutritious and really simple. Go on give it a try.
If you try this recipe, please don’t forget to tag a photo beyondcurry on Instagram. Cheers!