No, it isn’t Babaganoush or your South Asian Baigan Bhartha. Some days I spend hours in the kitchen cooking authentic Indian recipes(no recipe actually, we dump the ingredients until our inner voice screams and says “enough”), and other days I look for the quickest way to modify and recreate the recipes I grew up eating. This is one of those recipes that I can whip up in no time without putting too much effort in and it tastes incredibly satisfying. I am going to call it ‘Eggplant Chutney’. Serve it as a side dish, dip, slather it on a sandwich, roll it up in naan or just scoop it out with a spoon. It’s all good 🤤😋.
I can live off of eating only eggplants my entire life If I have to. My love for eggplants grew as my taste buds matured. Growing up, my mother would cook eggplants twice a week. Sometimes more than twice lol. I used to whine and throw a fit about her cooking eggplants every week. I guess when you are too spoiled to have a meal served right on your plate by your mother, you tend to forget what a blessing you had to be grateful for. Until you move out of your comfort zone, get married, and start your own family.
Before I begin with how I started to love eggplants let me tell you a bit about my hometown and its fresh produce.
I grew up in a small town in Gujarat, India. My birth town is surrounded by small villages. Luscious acres of land filled with fresh produce. You take your bike to stroll around and find yourself smelling fresh mangoes. You pass a little more and come across Guava, Sitafal(Custard Apple) then there comes the stinky smell of Cauliflower and cabbage lol. The more you pass the road, the more you see the land field of Rice, Wheat, Large and small eggplants, tomatoes, pigeon peas, mustard, peas, and you name it.
My father is the owner of a shop in that little town that surrounds the farms and villages. Every other farmer passing by our town to reach the main market has developed a friendship with my family. So whenever they are headed to the market, they would drop off the fresh produce to my father out of love. Sometimes we would get 2 to 3 large bags full of eggplants in a week lol. Fresh eggplants that I would look at and a nod to mother with a frown on my face. Seemed like no one cared about large eggplants for ‘Bhartha’ in my town. Whenever they get those eggplants, they get fed to cows and goats 🤷🏽♀️😏.
My mother would get calls every day from her siblings(they still talk everyday Masha’Allah ❤️) and they would ask what have you cooked today?! Have you guessed already? Lol, yes woman only lived off of those fresh eggplants.
So, eggplants were sort of my veggie enemies that I secretly used to abhor but ate it anyway. Things changed when I moved to the US. I started to long for those fresh vicious purple-skinned vegetables called ‘eggplants’ that I hated growing up. Oh, we used to call it Aubergine in English until I landed in the US. My tongue had to mend and twist before I get used to saying Aubergine as Eggplant.
All right, I’ll just share the recipe so get cooking lol. Thank you for reading and stopping by.
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