God Save the Baingan

I can’t believe I’ve started a Facebook event on a Greenpeace campaign to save organically grown brinjal as I have traditionally detested the vegetable for the longest time. (Think I gagged, after being force fed, the first time someone told me it’s called the King of vegetables.) But I’m not surprised that no one else chose to attend the event though, as clearly this is not a popular vegetable.  I imagine if it was a Save the Potato/Tomato/Onion may afficiendos would have ‘attended’ the event albeit virtually.

Greenpeace in its signature style organised a demonstration today. It got not just citizens groups, activists and civil society organisations but chefs from a 5-star hotel too to make, what it claims is, the World’s Biggest Baingan Bharta.  The dish weighed 500 kg and the idea was to serve it up along with a petition signed by lakhs of citizens to the Indian Prime Minister, to tell him to stop the passage of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill. If this Bill is enacted, genetically modified (GM) crops like Bt brinjal will find it easy to get approvals, flood our markets and fill our plates.

Sadly, the PM won’t be home to eat all that baingan bharta. He’s off to Dhaka for more pressing business like figuring out how to divide the Teesta river’s water with Bangladesh without antagonising his firebrand Bengal chief minister.

   Quite coincidentally, I just ate some homemade baingan bharta for my lunch as I wrote this post. Yes, have actually  warmed up to the baingan and gotten over my fussy eating  habits. Infact, I would go as far as to say that I now swear by it.  Everyone who makes baingan bharta, cooks it their own way. My recipe would probably be the same as the next persons, except, i like to retain a small bit of the brinjal’s charred skin – just a inch would do- to give it that roasted flavour. Try it out the next time.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bani
    Sep 06, 2011 @ 22:52:37

    Namz… I am in love with a vegetarian pizza (yes, you read that right!) which has baingan in it! Will make you try it sometime. There’s tons of other interesting stuff I have tried with baingan over the past couple of years and call it ‘aubergine’, ‘egglant’, ‘baingan’ depending on what I cook:-)


    • Namrata Kilpady
      Sep 07, 2011 @ 00:00:37

      Dear Bani, this is Namrata’s stomach speaking. Please hurry hurry and share your baingan pizza recipe. You’re going to be a great mom someday, coz you’ll probably disguise all the foods that children find yuck into some exquisite, exotic dish. I won’t be surprised if you come up with lauki pasta, tinda souffle, spinach icecream!


      • bani
        Sep 07, 2011 @ 09:55:12

        Unfortunately I did not cook the ‘baingan pizza’ but tried it at a restaurant called ‘hell pizza’-will take you there sometime! As far as lauki pasta and tinda souffle is concerned (yuck!)…I wouldn’t be surprised as my grandmom would trick us and make kadu icecream for us as kids…I just might have her jeans!

  2. Namrata Kilpady
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 16:02:47

    Kadu icecream! Now that’s a first. I think u meant u inherited your nani’s genes. But it’s totally cool if u inherited her jeans too… teeehee. :p


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