Baingan bharta is a delicious mashed eggplant stir fry. A very popular north Indian, Punjabi baingan or eggplant recipe.
Here open flame roasted and smoked eggplants are mashed and sauteed with very few Indian spices, making it an excellent dish with a side of roti or naan. Vegan , gluten free and one of our absolute favorites at home.
Punjabi Baingan Ka Bharta
So do you like eggplant? When it comes to eggplant, there are only two kind of people. Those who love it and those who hate it 🙂
I am thankfully one of those who love eggplants. Baingan (eggplant/baingan) is an extremely versatile vegetable that you can cook up in so many ways.
This baingan bharta recipe is a popular and wonderful creation with eggplants.
Baingan bharta literally means eggplant mash. Baingan is eggplant and bharta is mash. Here we first roast an big eggplant in open fire.
The mashed roastd eggplant are further sauteed with Indian spices like ground coriander, a teeny bit of garam masala, red chili powder.
This baingan ka bharta is real delicious treat for all eggplant lovers. I have been hooked to this ever since I tried this.
It is similar to baba ganoush in the way eggplant is cooked, of course the flavor and seasoning all different, making them both unique recipes.
Baingan bharta tastes simply wonderful with paratha, roti but that is not all. There are so many ways you can enjoy this simple eggplant dish.
Roasting eggplant in open fire or flame magically makes it more delicious and the flavor is top notch.
This Baingan Bharta Recipe Is
Fun, unique way to enjoy eggplants
vegan and gluten free
delicious with incredible flavor
easy to make
delicious with Indian breads or rice
for making authentic Punjabi baingan ka bharta
Baingan– Eggplant/aubergine or brinjal. Large egglant also know as bharta bharta baingan is usually used in this baingan ka bharta. However you can use any variety of eggplant is bigger for this eggplant Indian recipe. More on selecting right baingan and roasting it in notes.
Garlic– I would like to call garlic the next important ingredient in this recipe. We are using it in two stages. First, roasting them along with eggplant and then a few in the saute.
Add as many cloves as you can handle, feel free to reduce or leave it out in any one place.
Bharta ingredients– The ingredients we need for making the bharta or the mash or stir fry if you want to call that are simple and staple ones used in Indian curries. You will need
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 or 2 green chillies, finely chopped or slit
- ground coriander
- ground turmeric
- cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- lime or lemon juice
Tips For Preparing Eggplant
To make perfect baingan bharta with spot on flavors, here are few tips and tricks that will help you.
Choosing right baingan– Eggplant comes in many varieties and it is important to choose the right one for different recipes. For this bharta, use baingan or eggplant that is heavy, shiny with no bruise or indentation.
Also we do not want ripe eggplant for this bharta. Ripe eggplants have a terrible bitter taste. Make sure the stalk of your eggplant is bright green and well closed.
Roasting eggplant– Ideally eggplants were roasted in open wood fire for this recipe. At home we can either do it on stove op open flame or grill. Roast the eggplants well until it is completely charred with a wonderful smoky flavor.
Only well roasted eggplants taste best in baingan ka bharta. Please refrain from using a microwave or oven for this step. You can also use your barbecue grill for roasting baingan. Nothing like fire roasted eggplants.
I use a stove top grill stand used for making phulka making bhartas. You can also use tongs or insert a long fork inside the baingan and roast it.
You can also gas grill for roasting baingan.
To impart some more smokiness, you can also do dhungar method or smoke a charcoal over the baingan but I don’t usually do it.
Studding garlic- Roasting few cloves of garlic along with eggplant imparts such a wonderful flavor and taste to this dish.
Here is what you do. After rinsing and wiping off excess water from the eggplant, apply oil all over it. Make few slits, say two or three and push 2-3 garlic cloves inside the slits. Now place the eggplant on fire and roast.
Let cool and peel the baingan- Once you roast the baingan, let it cool down for few minutes before peeling the skin. I despise the use of aluminium foil and I don’ use it unless absolutely necessary. so what I do instead is place the roasted eggplant in a bowl of water for 5-6 minutes. Easy and safer method.
Other Notes & Tips
This way, the skin peels of on its own, very less effort too.
Use less spices- This dish is all about the fire roasted eggplant and its distinct flavor. The spices used in this recipe are few basic ones like ground coriander, turmeric, red chili powder. That’s it. Garam masala powder or whole garam masala is not used in this recipe.
Finish off with a drizzle of lemon juice or lime juice– Adding a few drops of lemon or lime juice simply elevates the flavor, try it.
Rinse and wipe off excess moisture from the eggplant.
Switch on the flame and place a stove top grill stand over it. Heat for 2 minutes.
In the meantime make two slits in the baingan and push 2-3 halved garlic cloves. Place the eggplant on the hot grill.
Using a spoon or tong rotate the eggplant and roast it from all sides. The skin should be completely blistered and there will be a wonderful smoky flavor. It takes around 10 minutes to 12 minutes in high open flame. This is a very important step, please do not rush it.
Once the eggplant is thoroughly roasted and smokey, plunge it down into a bowl of cold water.
Once the eggplant is thoroughly cooled, remove the peel completely and mash it roughly.
Heat oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. You can use mustard oil or vegetable oil or even peanut oil. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and saute for few seconds. Also add the slit green chilies, chopped garlic, finely chopped onion and saute well for a minute in medium heat.
Add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute well in medium heat.
Next throw in the ground coriander, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and saute well till the raw flavor leaves and tomatoes are well cooked.
Add the roasted and mashed eggplant, mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the finelu chopped coriander leaves and toss well. Serve baingan bharta warm with phulka.
Roasting Eggplant In Oven.
If roasting the eggplant is not an option for you, you can use oven and roast it. Please also note that this method will not yield baingan bharta with authentic flavor profile. The smoky flavor will be missing though. Here are the instructions.
Preheat the oven at 210 C or 410 F. Rinse and wipe off excess moisture from a big eggplant. Rub some peanut oil all over it. Make 2 deep slits in the baingan.
Stud 2-3 peeled and chopped garlic. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until eggplant is well roasted. Let it cool in the tray for 5 minutes.
Plunge it into the cold water, remove the peel and proceed with the recipe.
I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy as much as we did.
Baingan Bharta Recipe
- 1 large eggplant suitable for roasting
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and cloved
- 2 tablespoons oil more for rubbing over eggplant
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 2 green chilies slit
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
Roasting the eggplant.
- Rinse and wipe off excess moisture from eggplant. Switch on the flame and place a stove top grill stand. Let it heat for 2 minutes. In the mean time make two slits in the baingan and push 2-3 halved garlic cloves. Place the eggplant on grill.
- Using a spoon rotate the eggplant and roast it from all sides. The skin should be completely blistered and there will also be a wonderful smoky flavor. It takes around 10-12 minutes in high open flame. This is a very important step, do not rush it.
- Once the eggplant is thoroughly is roasted and smokey, plunge it down in a bowl of cold water. Once the eggplant is cooled, remove the peel completely and mash it roughly.
To make bangan bharta curry:
- Heat oil in a heavy pan. You can use mustard oil or vegetable oil. Add cumin seeds and saute for few seconds. Also add slit green chilies, chopped garlic, finely chopped onion and saute well for a minute.
- Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute well.
- Next throw in the coriander powder, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and saute well till the raw flavor leaves and tomatoes are well cooked.
- Add the roasted and mashed eggplants and mix well. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Add chopped coriander leaves and toss well. Serve baingan bharta with phulka.
- If roasting eggplant is not an option for you, you can use oven and roast it. Please note that this method will not yield baingan bharta with authentic flavor profile. The smoky flavor will be missing. Here are the instructions.
- Preheat your oven at 210 C or 410 F. Rinse and wipe off excess water from a big eggplant. Rub some peanut oil all over it. Make 2 deep slits in the baingan.
- Stud 2 peeled and chopped garlic. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until eggplant is well roasted. Let cool in the tray for 5 minutes.
- Plunge it in cold water, remove the peel and proceed with the recipe.
- To make this bharta at its best, do not rush the process of roasting the eggplants. It should be completely charred and peel should be blister completely.
- Do not add more spice powders in this recipe.
- If you absolutely have no choice you can roast the eggplant in oven, but the flavor and taste will be different.
- The recipe can be doubled.