Baigan Choka… Roasted Eggplant

Baigan Choka

I don’t have a gas cook top / stove / burner. My cook top and oven are electric. Which means there’s no flame for roasting peppers or tomatoes or other vegetables, especially eggplant for baigan Choka. I LOVE baigan choka. In fact, I love eggplant, period. Since I don’t have a way to cook it during the winter months, I can’t wait for summer when we fire up our grill and start cooking outside. These past few weeks we’ve cooked all our meals on the grill. No joke! Which means my house is free of food smells (if you know me, you know I have a slight OCD about food smells. Ha).But it also means that I made baigan choka!!! One of my viewers and good friends asked me a while back to share my baigan choka recipe so here goes. It’s really simple and the hardest part is roasting the eggplant to perfection.

For this recipe you need 4 simple ingredients: Eggplant (I'm using two fairly large eggplants), 1 large tomato, about 4 cloves of garlic and about 5 heads of green onions (not pictured)

For this recipe you need 4 simple ingredients: Eggplant (I’m using two fairly large eggplants), 1 large tomato, about 4 cloves of garlic, half a wiri wiri pepper and about 5 heads of green onions (not pictured)

Wash the eggplant and tomatoes.  Then, make 2 inch slits (with a knife), lengthwise along the entire eggplant.  Peel the garlic cloves and cut in halves. Insert haves into a few of the slits in the eggplant.

Wash the eggplant and tomatoes.
Then, make 2 inch slits (with a knife), lengthwise along the entire eggplant.
Peel the garlic cloves and cut in halves. Insert garlic halves into a few of the slits in the eggplant.

I placed the eggplant and tomatoes and the rest of the garlic on the grill to roast. You can also roast your garlic this way for the choka, but I was making a dish for dinner that required roasted garlic, so I was killing two birds with one stone.

I placed the eggplant and tomatoes and the rest of the garlic on the grill to roast. You can also roast your garlic this way for the choka, but I was making a dish for dinner that required roasted garlic, so I was killing two birds with one stone.

After a while the eggplant wasn't getting the char I needed so I moved it to the burner of the grill.  If you are making this at home, you can put directly on the flame on your stove. Juices will leak from the eggplant and that can be very messy so be careful. Once one side of the eggplant becomes charred (roasted), turn on the other side and continue to roast.  At home, you can place the tomato on a fork and roast over the open flame as well.

After a while the eggplant wasn’t getting the char I needed so I moved it to the burner of the grill.
If you are making this at home, you can put directly on the flame on your stove. Juices will leak from the eggplant and that can be very messy so be careful.
Once one side of the eggplant becomes charred (roasted), turn on the other side and continue to roast.
At home, you can place the tomato on a fork and roast over the open flame as well.

What the ingredients looked like after 30 minutes of roasting on an open flame

What the ingredients looked like after 30 minutes of roasting on an open flame.

Let the eggplant cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. You want it too cold, but cool enough so you can work with it.  Insert a knife under the skin and pull skin towards you to create an opening or access to the flesh.

Let the eggplant cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. You don’t want it too cold, but cool enough so you can work with it.
Insert a knife under the skin and pull skin towards you to create an opening or access to the flesh.

Use a fork to scoop out the fleshy parts of the eggplant from the charred skin.

Use a fork to scoop out the fleshy parts of the eggplant from the charred skin.

Finely dice green onions and 1/2 of a wiri wiri pepper (you can use scotch bonnet peppers if you don't have wiri wiri peppers).  Saute in a small sauce pan with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat.  The olive oil gives it a great flavor.

Finely dice green onions and 1/2 of a wiri wiri pepper (you can use scotch bonnet peppers if you don’t have wiri wiri peppers).
Saute in a small sauce pan with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, on medium heat.
The olive oil gives it a great flavor.

Place the fleshy parts of the eggplant that you removed from the charred skin, and the roasted garlic, in a plate or serving dish.  Then, remove the skin from the tomato. Add the tomato to the eggplant and garlic. Using a fork, crush tomato and garlic and mix together with the eggplant.  Finally, add the green onions, pepper and salt to taste (about 1 tsp).  Mix together and serve hot with your favorite type roti. I had mine with sada roti.

Place the fleshy parts of the eggplant that you removed from the charred skin, and the roasted garlic, in a plate or serving dish.
Then, remove the skin from the tomato.
Add the tomato to the eggplant and garlic. Using a fork, crush tomato and garlic and mix together with the eggplant.
Finally, add the green onions, pepper and salt to taste (about 1 tsp).
Mix together and serve hot with your favorite type of roti. I had mine with sada roti (recipe to follow).

 

Baigan Choka / Roasted Eggplant (serves 4)

Ingredients:

2 large eggplants
1 large tomato
4 cloves garlic
5 heads green onion
1/2 wiri wiri pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

Directions:
Wash eggplants and tomato. Using a knife, make 2 inch slits lengthwise along each eggplant. Peel garlic cloves and cut into halves. Stuff halves into a few of the slits along the eggplants. Add to an open flame and roast for about 30 minutes or until the eggplants are completely charred and soft. Rotate eggplant so that all sides are roasted evenly. Roast tomato on an open flame until the skin is charred and easily removes from the flesh. Finely chop the green onions and pepper. Add oil to a small saute pan on medium heat. Add green onions and peppers and saute for about 3 minutes.
When eggplants are completely roasted, remove charred skin and scoop fleshy part and roasted garlic out with a fork. Add eggplant to a serving dish. Then, remove skin from roasted tomato. Add tomato to the eggplant and roasted garlic and crush with a fork. Add green onions, pepper and salt. Mix together and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can choose not to cook the green onions and add them raw. It gives it a nice crunchy taste.
2. The tomato I used had a lot of water. So it made my baigan choka a bit watery. It also had a sour/tangy taste which also affect the taste of the choka, so choose your tomato wisely. Roma tomatoes or vine ripen tomatoes might have been a better choice.

Happy Roasting!

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