Baingan Bhartha or Ringan no Oro (Roasted Curried Eggplant)

Recipe by Jay Jadeja

6 pounds large Italian eggplant
12 cloves garlic, peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil (for sautéing)
8 medium-size red onions, sliced
16 green chilies, chopped—can vary according to desired heat (spiciness)
2 tablespoons garam masala*
1 tablespoon cumin powder*
Pinch asafetida*
6 teaspoons turmeric powder*
1 tablespoon red chili powder*—can vary according to desired heat
1 pound green peas
Salt to taste
1 bottle Wölffer Estate Sagaponack Red Blend

*available at Patel Brothers, 415 South Broadway, Hicksville

Note: Please do not miss a single step lest you mess up the recipe.

Open the bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass (approximately 4 ounces). Swirl the wine, allowing it to breathe—take a deep breath savoring the aromas of the wine—taste the wine. Put down the glass.

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the garlic cloves in olive oil, pack into aluminum foil, then sprinkle with some more oil. Roast garlic in oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until slightly caramelized and soft to touch. Mash after allowing it to rest for a few minutes.

Take another sip of your delicious wine.

Roast the eggplants over an open flame until the outer skin is charred but not burnt. Use tongs please, no sense in burning your fingers and/or dropping the delicious eggplant on the floor.

Intermittently take a sip of the wine; allow the wine to aerate in the front of your mouth—enhancing the ability of your taste buds—and at the front and the back of your tongue. Enjoy.

Put the eggplants in water and gently remove the skin.

Remove the eggplant pulp from the water. In a separate bowl, mash the pulp with your hands. The eggplant is almost cooked at this point.

Another sip of the wine.

Put a large pot on the stove on high heat. Once the pot is hot, pour in some olive oil to coat the bottom. In the pot, sauté the onions until caramelized, lower heat as necessary to avoid burning the onions. (Trust me the taste or smell of burnt onion is no good, and especially doesn’t pair well with the wine.) Toss in the green chilies and sauté the mixture some more.

Add all the spices—garam masala, cumin powder, asafetida, turmeric powder, red chili powder—in the same pot of caramelizing onions. Stir thoroughly until the spices are toasted. Finally toss in the roasted mashed garlic. Mix thoroughly.

Add in the mashed eggplant pulp and the green peas. Mix thoroughly. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes.

Hopefully the wine is done by now. If so, send a friend out to buy another bottle.

Stir-fry over low to medium heat for 15 minutes more. Test the peas so that they are slightly crunchy and not complete mush.

Serve with Millet Bread, sliced onions and whole green chilies.