Gujarati Ringna No Ooro (Gujarati Roasted Aubergine) is a classic recipe which is well recognised across different regions of India and abraod. It is also known as Baingan Ka Bharta in some regions of India and is prepared in similar ways with subtle variations depending on the region. In Gujarat, it is known as Ringna No Ooro and primarily prepared in the winter and cooler months of the year alongside kitchri and bajra na rotla and Gujarati kadhi.
Ringna no ooro is basically fire roasted aubergine and when combined with green chillies, ginger and spices they release flavors that are absolutely delicious and aromatic. The smokey flavour and texture is what makes ooro a very unique dish and the different roasting processes really do make a tremendous difference to the quality and taste of it.
Tips on making Ringna No Ooro
Choose the right aubergine: Picking the right kind of aubergine can be tricky when there are a wide variety of them around to choose from. Go for the big and roundish ones which do not have any indentations and has a shiny skin. When you hold the aubergines in your hand, pick something which feels light compared to the others. It is the lighter ones which have fewer seeds.
Roast it on an open flame: There are no real shortcuts to achieving the best smokey flavour. It can only be achieved when the aubergine is roasted on an open flame. Thats when the skin chars and lends it the smoky flavour. The aubergine can also be roasted on a barbecue grill which will give it a beautiful flavour as well.
Roast patiently: It is vital that the aubergine is roasted patiently as it needs to be cooked from inside. The entire process takes about 8-10 minutes on a medium high flame and you’ll need to turn it every 1-2 minutes for even roasting. If the roasting process is rushed then it wont produce the necessary soft pulp to make the ooro.
Cool before peeling: The aubergine will be at a very hot tempreture once it has cooked. Wrap up the roasted aubergine and let it rest for a while to allow the skin to soften and loosen. Once I have peeled the charred skin, I also like to dunk it in water to get clean off of any small bits of burnt skin which may still be stuck here and there.
Let me know how this turns out for you!
Gujarati Ringna No Ooro (Gujarati Roasted Aubergine)
1 large organic aubergine
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 teaspoon organic nigella seeds
½ teaspoon organic asafeotida
4 organic garlic cloves
1 heaped teaspoon grated organic ginger
1 organic green chilli OR 1 teaspoon organic red chilli powder
2 medium organic tomatoes
1½ teaspoons organic cumin and coriander powder
½ teaspoon organic turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon chopped organic coriander
- First chop tomatoes and chillies (if using), mince garlic and grate the ginger and set aside.
- To begin making the ooro, we need to first begin by roasting the aubergine which can happen in a number of ways; in the oven, in the microwave or on the gas flame.
- If you choose to use the oven for roasting, the firstly preheat the oven to 180 C. Then place the aubergine on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until it starts to soften and the outter skin begins to char. To check if the aubergine has softened, use a knife to pierce it and if its not tender and doesn’t slide easily, continue to bake until soft and tender.
- If you are using an open flame for roasting, place the aubergine on the stove top flame and use tongs to turn the aubergine around while it is roasting. After about 10 minutes you will begin to notice that the skin of the aubergine is charring and it is reducing in size with the insides becoming tender. To test, when you insert the knife you will feel it is soft and not hard. If hard continue to roast until done.
- If you are cooking th aubergine in the microwave, then place it in a deep dish and cook for 10 minutes. The aubergine with release water and start to reduce in size and appear soft and tender. The use of a microwave will not give it the authentic smokey taste which the other two will but you can use the skin of the aubergine whereas in the other two methods you cannot. I do prefer using the skin as I can create a smokey taste using coal and ghee at a later stage.
- Once you have roasted your aubergine using the most desired method, allow it to cool.
- Once the roasted aubergine has cooled down peel away the charred skin and discard it. I used the microwave to soften my aubergines and so I kept the skin on. Then coarsely mash the pulp using a fork or mince finely using a knife.
- Add to the aubergine pulp tumeric powder, red chilli powder (if using), cumin and coriander powder and salt to taste.
- Gently mix together and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat; add nigella seeds and allow it to crackle. The add the asafeotida, ginger, garlic, chillies and tomatoes. Mix gently and sauté for 5-7 minutes until tender and not burnt. Browning is ok, just not burnt.
- Once tender, take the pan off the heat and gently spoon in the spiced aubergine pulp. Then slowly combine the tempering with the pulp and put back onto the heat. Turn it down to low heat.
- Allow the ooro to simmer for 10 minutes until it is well combined with the tomatoes and spices. Sirt gently half way throught cooking.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and stir.
- Serve the Ringna No Ooro with Bajra Na Rotla, Gujarati Kadhi and a hot steamed rice.