Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

037/18: Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

037/18 – Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry (Baingan Bharta):

The Cauliflower Shawarma was embarrassingly the first veg cook on my blog. I have been meaning to cook more veg and folk have suggested I do more veg dishes but I never got round to building up a list of dishes to cook –  Until now! First up Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry or Baingan Bharata. What caught my attention on this one was that it uses the ancient Indian dhungar method of smoking food by placing lit charcoal in the centre of the curry and pouring oil over it!

The recipe is from Fresh India by Meera Sodha: 

This is the Cauliflower Shawarma blog post:

023/18: Cauliflower Shawarma

The Ingredients:

Nothing you shouldn’t be able to get in a supermarket, all fairly standard.

The Prep:

I was running late so didn’t do all my prep in advance and had to do it whilst I was cooking. Didn’t really enjoy that so will make sure I am better organised in future!

To save me from a beating from my wife I picked up an old wok to use in the bbq for this cook rather than a decent pan. I fired up a full chimney of a charcoal I am testing for a local producer, it’s a mix of Oak and Beech. Once lit it was poured over the top half of the grill to create 2 heat zones.

The Cook:

Into the pan went rapeseed oil and sliced onions.

Coal Smoked Aubergine CurryThese were cooked for around 10 minutes then garlic and ginger were added. After a couple of minutes the aubergine batons went in along with some water then the lid went on to trap the steam.Coal Smoked Aubergine CurryAfter around 15 minutes tomato wedges, chilli powder, salt, turmeric, coriander and cumin were added to the mix  Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

I cleared a space in the centre of the pan and dropped in a small pot. With decent tongs I picked up a bit of lit charcoal and placed it into the pot. Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

Almost time to pour the oil in! Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

Oil in and plenty of smoke! Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

The smoke didn’t last too long, maybe a minute. I dropped another piece in and repeated it as I had been too busy taking photos the first time! Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

This time I whacked the lid on, you can see a bit of smoke building up.The lid wasn’t a perfect fit so some smoke was escaping, will need to get a better lid next time!Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

Time to Eat:

Served up with some simple rice with chopped pistachios.Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

Cracking! Coal Smoked Aubergine Curry

This was a very nice dish, pretty easy to make and doesn’t include loads of ingredients either. The smoke technique was really interesting and did add a smokey taste to the food, not overpoweringly strong but definitely noticeable when eating the dish.

Totally enjoyed the meal, very tasty and also filled me up. One I would cook again!

Was good cooking over the charcoal as it was so much hotter than the kitchen hob, dual zone cooking helped calm things down if required too.

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 
Cook Duration: Quick: 2/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Kettle
Cook Method: Wok
Charcoal: Local Charcoal
Smoking Wood: Charcoal and oil!
Cook time:  About 30 minutes
Internal temperature: N/A
Notes: Get a better fitting lid!


If you like the look of this recipe you can buy the book from Amazon (£13.60) by clicking the picture below:  


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