Banigan Bharta

 So…my little girl loves her some Indian food. The only thing missing from this dish was Masala tea and naan. In an effort to save carbs we opted not to make the bread and after being encouraged by my nearly 5 lb weight loss I felt thrilled in my decision…though  I made frozen hot chocolate later in the evening.

Chris blended 3 tsp garam masala,1 tsp cumin seeds (not ground cumin),1 tsp salt and 
1 tsp turmeric to add to the chicken and veggies once cooked. I’m unsure the marinade Chris made for the chicken but it’s safe to assume it was a mix of salt, yogurt, cumin, paprika, and perhaps some pepper. 

 After sauteeing the chicken we added the onion mix in the same pot.

While the chicken and onions cooked we roasted the eggplant until tender and broiled the skins to make the center easy to remove. It was similar to scooping the center of a squash-actually, easier.
We added the can of tomatoes to the onion mix and scooped out eggplant and blended until smooth, adding the chicken after blending in small batches. After asking if we should add cream to the sauce since the recipe didn’t call for it I agreed without hesitation and quickly made this dish pretty unhealthy 🙂
I had an epic suggestion by adding some sauteed mushrooms once the dish was completed which was pretty much full of win.

 It took all my willpower not to go back for seconds and K did a fabulous job finishing off a good portion of the bowl pictured above. The taste was unlike most Indian food we’ve had-think Tikka Masala or Daal. I’m fairly certain next time I’ll add some Cayenne, lime, and go heavy on the naan.

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
1 T olive oil
1 T canola oil
1 yellow onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds (not ground cumin)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Slice eggplant lengthwise and sprinkle salt on the fleshy side. Rub both sides with olive oil and roast, skin side up for 25-30 minutes until tender. When the timer goes off, switch oven to broil and roast another five minutes until caramelized and golden.
While the eggplant is roasting, chop your onion, jalapeno and ginger. Heat up the canola oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Saute for five minutes until tender then add jalapeno and ginger and saute another five minutes. Add spices and stir well.
When the eggplant halves have cooled enough, scoop out the flesh into a bowl and remove as many seeds as you can but don’t stress out over it. Then, add the eggplant and diced tomatoes to the onion mixture and stir together.  Cook for five minutes.
Carefully ladle mixture into blender or food processor and process until smooth. Serve with brown rice or naan bread with cilantro scattered on top.
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