Eggplant - 1, big
Mustard Oil - 1 tbsp
Red Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Green Chili - 3, finely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
Tomato - 1, chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Cilantro - a handful, chopped
There are 3 ways to cook the eggplant:
The best way would be if you have a gas cooking range, then prick the eggplant all over and roast on open flame, rotating frequently, till soft and charred. Cool, remove the skin, mash with a fork and use. This gives a wonderful smoky flavor to the eggplant.
Alternatively, they can be cooked using an oven. Put the eggplant in an oven safe shallow bowl or a cookie sheet and apply a little oil. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and bake it for about 45 minutes turning the sides every fifteen minutes. Let it cool and peel off the skin then mash and keep aside.
I have also cooked eggplant using a pressure cooker. Initially I was sceptical on how it would turn up but actually found the taste to be identical to roasted eggplant minus the smoky flavor. The trick to cooking in pressure cooker is to put the minimum water required in the pressure cooker and no more. Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes. Put in a pressure cooker pan with a pinch of turmeric, add a cup of water and cook under pressure for 4 whistles. Remove, cool, mash and keep aside.
Heat oil in a skillet. Add the chopped onion, a little salt and green chili. Cook till the onion gets soft and begins to caramelise.
Add the minced garlic and tomato. Cook for a minute more.
Now add the mashed eggplant and salt. Cook for a few minutes more till any liquid, if present, has evaporated.
Remove from heat, add chopped cilantro and lemon juice and mix well. Serve with any Indian flatbread or baked pita chips.