A lot of people are resistant to the idea of making Indian food at home. It involves too many ingredients, too much forethought, a different oven, uncommon spices, and/or a lot of prep time. Butter chicken from the Food of India is the recipe to prove everyone wrong. Maybe you don’t regularly keep garam masala or cardamom in your pantry, but both spices are relatively inexpensive and available at your local supermarket. There’s no long tempering of spices involved and no more marinating than you might expect in any other chicken recipe. The yogurt keeps the chicken tender throughout the hour-long bake time and the flavor is complex but mild enough to appeal to a wide audience of eaters….
Food of India
Baingan Bharta is an extremely common Indian dish. There are countless variations of it, depending on the region of origin, and a stunning number of different names: baingan bharta, ringra nu orro, ringna no olo, ringan no oro, ringan nu Bharthu, fire-smoked eggplant, eggplant curry, Gujarati-style eggplant, Punjabi eggplant….. It’s popularity is no surprise, since it’s the perfect dish for using the end-of-summer eggplant and tomato bounty, and also, because it is utterly fabulous. Only after making the “smoky spiced eggplant” from the Food of India did I realize I’d picked one of my favorite Indian dishes. Now that I know how simple it is to make at home, I certainly won’t be paying $9.99 to order it out again.
There aren’t that many eggplant dishes I like, mostly because of the texture. Since the eggplant is virtually (or actually) pureed in this dish/dip, there’s no concern over the texture. Instead, this smoky spiced eggplant dip tastes sinfully rich with its smoky depth from the charred eggplant, the sweetness from the ripe tomatoes, and the perfect balance of spice. Everyone is going to love it, even people who say they hate eggplant. I promise. Also, it’s vegan, so it’s perfect for entertaining a group with different dietary needs….