Quite a bit has been said about the health benefits of the fruit from the Mediterranean-olives. Olive oil, extracted by pressing of the fruit, is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which is supposed to be good for the heart and overall well being of an individual.
Well being though, be damned! After all, one shouldn’t eat to live. It should be on the contrary, as has been my mantra to happiness for years. So I keep searching, for newer things and objects-to devour! My search, in turn, often stirs the creative instincts inside me. That is when, with a spring in my steps, I approach the refrigerator.
Foraging the refrigerator a few days back, I came across half a piece of brinjal. Brinjal is a vegetable that is often accused to have no benefits ( be-gun or bereft of any benefits, as the Bengalis say). I have often wondered whether that’s the reason for the humble brinjal to be roasted on a fire and turned into a mish – mash spiced with dollops of raw mustard oil, raw onions and green chilly; the preparation often being used as an effective way to keep the chill of the winter nights in villages at bay.
The humble baigan ka bhartaa has breached and invaded all strata of the Indian society. It’s probably an item that gets served under various alibi on dining tables of scores of people, be it the rich or the poor, across India.
The piece of brinjal that I found in the refrigerator made me want to do a fusion, something that wouldn’t come with the pungency of the mustard or the – roasted brinjal with a smattering of virgin olive oil infused with burnt garlic and coriander leaves!
The recipe is actually quite simple and quick to conjure if someone wishes to.
Cut the brinjal into round slices. Take a metal plate or tawa and heat it till it is scalding hot. Place the round slices of brinjal on the hot plate and allow the heat to burn the brinjal slices slowly, taking care to turn them at short intervals to ensure the heat burns the slices equally. Meanwhile chop a few garlic pods finely and place it on the hot metal plate as well. Very soon the garlic would begin to burn and release its characteristic odour. Remove the garlic and add it into the bowl containing 5-6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Finely chop fresh coriander leaves and add same into the olive oil. The garlic dip is done and should be kept aside. Once the outer skin of the brinjal slices begin to get burnt and turn black, it’s time to remove them from the hot plate.
All that remains after that is to smatter and spread the olive oil dip, prepared earlier, on the brinjal and scream…. Bon Appétit!
Note- The brinjal can be used as a topping over toasted bread making it a good healthy breakfast option.
The sweet flavour of virgin olive oil hyphenated by the sudden pungency of the garlic makes the effort of creating this worthwhile.