Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Chutney is a delicious smoky, tangy, spicy chutney that can be used as a spread or salsa. It is somewhat similar to Baingan Bartha, the popular North Indian recipe, that also involves roasting and peeling the eggplant. This dish is popularly known as Vankaya Pacchadi in the Andhra region of South India.
Eggplant is one of the most popular vegetable in Indian cuisines across all regions. A staggering variety of curries, chutneys, soups and fries are made with eggplant. My dad was a geologist the Geological Survey of India (which was headquartered in Calcutta, East India) and had ton of Bengali colleagues. I remember growing up in camps where we lived in tents in different regions of Telangana, with a lot of Bengali families. One of my very distinct memories is the fried eggplant they used to cook, and sprinkle it with salt and chili powder (see picture on left). I used to love this dish and would look forward to going to dinners with these folks, just to get a bite of this delicacy. To give you more context, eggplant is also used to make Bhajji, which is eggplant (or any other vegetable) dipped in a dough made of chickpea flour and spices and deep fried. Let’s not venture too far down this path, as it’s not all that healthy. 🙂
The smokiness comes from roasting the eggplant. This flavor is very unique and probably experienced mostly only in Indian cuisine other than the Middle Eastern recipe Baba Ghanoush (see our easy recipe here), which involves a similar process of roasting and peeling. That’s where the similarity ends. For this chutney, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chili and urad dal are sautéed and ground to form the basic spice mix. These are later added to the roasted eggplant, tomatoes and onions and cooked together in a pan as you can see in the instructions for preparation below.
You’ll love trying out this recipe with hot steamed rice and ghee or as a spread on your rotis or tacos.
Eggplant has a unique range of health benefits, including an ability to help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis, reduce symptoms of anemia,improve cardiovascular health among. It is a rich source of vitamin C, K, B6 etc. Eggplant is roasted in this recipe- roasting is said to be easy on the vitamins,and one study found that roasting was actually a good way to preserve the B vitamins. Tomatoes and cilantro are another good source of nutrients in this recipe.
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Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Chutney
- 1/2 Pound Eggplant
- 1/4 Cup Tomato Fine Cut
- 1/8 Cup Cilantro Fine Cut
- 1/8 Cup Onion Fine Cut
- 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Urad Dal (Split Black Gram)
- 1 Chili Dry Red Chili
- 1 Chili Green Chili Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Tamarind Paste
- 1 Teaspoon Jaggery Powdered
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt Or To Taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Roast mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chili and urad dal in half a teaspoon of oil, set aside for cooling and then blend into a coarse powder
- Set aside other ingredients - eggplant, cilantro leaves, onion and tomato
- Roast Eggplant on a gas flame evenly on all sides. Alternatively, poke holes in the eggplant using a fork and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
- Once the eggplant is well roasted, peel the skin (it comes off easily), set in a bowl and mash it with the back of a fork to ensure there are no uncooked chunks
- Heat the rest of the oil on a pan. Saute onions till golden brown, add tomatoes and continue sauteeing for 5 minutes. Add roasted eggplant, salt, tamarind, jaggery, blended seasoning, cilantro and mix well
- Transfer to serving dish