Imagine if Babaganoush and Bengali Eggplant Bharta or Begun Pora fell in love with each other and got married. Their bright-eyed, precocious first born would be this lovely salad-like dip that I present today. We had it over flatbreads as a starter.
While I love babaganoush, the Bengali Eggplant Bharta was entirely new to me. I'll likely never go back to plain babaganoush ever again—absolutely delicious. The cumin, the lime, the cilantro and mint are all heavenly. I love that it all comes together in one bowl, which maintains the colors and textures of the tomatoes, onions, and herbs, while enrobing them the silken eggplant. I even made a batch of naan on an 85° day to celebrate a perfect mash-up. —boulangere
medium-sized eggplant (about 3/4 pound)
mustard oil (see headnote)
Salt, to taste
small red onion, finely chopped
Serrano chile, minced
finely chopped cilantro
finely chopped mint
fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime)
Sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
In This Recipe
Place the eggplant on an open flame (grill or a gas stovetop works), and cook the eggplant, turning as needed, until the outer skin is charred and crackling.
Remove and set aside to cool. When you can handle it, carefully remove the outer skin, taking care to remove the smaller pieces.
Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, place in a mixing bowl, and mash well. Add in the mustard oil and the tahini and mix well until smooth.
Add in the cumin and salt.
Mix in the red onion, Serrano chile, tomato, cilantro, and mint. Stir in the lime juice.
Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes so the flavors combine.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, if using, and serve immediately with warm bread or pita chips.