by Shumaila

I am now the proud owner of a masala dabba (picture above)! Just look at the colours-isn’t it a beauty!! Strange, back in India I never knew that having a masala dabba would be such a big deal- in India everyone has one and probably no one gives it a second glance. Here after owning 7-8 different plastic containers for the plethora of spices we use, finally getting a masala dabba is pure joy. All thanks to my mom-in law!

My in-laws are in town visiting. I have been looking forward for this visit as my mom-in-law is a great cook and her visit means my cooking skills are going to notch up. I have already learnt how to cook her famous biryani (recipe will be posted soon), and today, I learnt how she makes baingan bharta. The previous recipe posted also gives a good result, but her style is more quick and, no doubt, really good.

The secret she says is in fire-roasting the eggplant with cloves of garlic inserted in the eggplant by making slits. That ways, the juice from the garlic beautifully infuses in the eggplant. She also adds cubes of tomatoes and sliced ginger right at the end, barely sautéing it. Her reasoning is that, when you add the ginger and the tomatoes right at the end, you are able to get the individual taste of the ginger, tomatoes and the eggplant, making the dish really flavorful.



1 eggplant

4-6 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp oil

5 tbsp spring onions, chopped

2-3 green chillies, finely chopped

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 ” piece ginger

2 small or 1 big tomato

Salt to taste


Slit the eggplant and add garlic cloves. Fire roast the eggplant till tender inside and burnt outside. Peel the outer burnt layer and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add spring onions, green chillies, and lightly saute. Add the roasted eggplant and mash thoroughly till color changes. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and dhania powder. Cut tomatoes into big cubes. Peel the ginger and grate half of it and slice the rest. Once the eggplant is cooked, add the tomatoes and ginger and very lightly saute. Remove from fire. Cover and keep. Serve hot with chapati.