One summer, D and I had a deal that every week, I would go to one of the farmers’ markets and get all-fresh ingredients, and D would make me a baingan bharta. The main ingredient is roasted eggplant; if we had a gas stove, we could roast the eggplants directly over a flame, but as it is we just stick them in the oven at about 400 degrees, turning from time to time, until they soften and start to collapse.
The masala to go with them is broadly similar to our most usual other Indian dishes. Toast some cumin seeds in oil, then add a chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a thumb-sized chunk of ginger, and a chopped hot pepper, and sautee until soft. (We used a serrano pepper this time, and the result was spicy enough to clear out my sinuses.) Spice with a teaspoon or a bit less of turmeric, optionally a little bit of chana masala or other similar spice mix, and salt and cayenne pepper to taste, and add three chopped tomatoes and some cilantro.