Baingan bharta or eggplant bharta is a delicious mashed eggplant stir fry or relish. A very popular & traditional north Indian, Punjabi baingan or eggplant recipe. Smokey roasted eggplant mashed with Indian spices!
In this recipe open flame roasted and smoked eggplants are mashed and sautéed 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.
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 always thought bringal or aubergines or eggplant, however you call it, is one of the most versatile vegetables that lends itself wonderfully in so many delicious preparations.
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 ka bharta recipe is a popular and wonderful recipe with eggplants.
It is very commonly prepared in Punjab and rest of north India too. Baingan bharta tastes delicious with piping hot phulkas, parathas and also rice. Here I am sharing my recipe of best baingan bharta with step by step photos and tips.
About Baingan Bharta
Baingan bharta is a traditional north Indian vegetarian dish made of fire roasted mashed eggplants.
Baingan bharta literally means eggplant mash. The word Baingan is eggplant and bharta is mash. In this dish we first roast an big eggplant in open fire.
The mashed roasted 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
Why This Recipe Works
This eggplant bharta recipe is my keeper recipe that I have been making for many years. I tasted an excellent bharta in a Punjabi buffet and this recipe is from the chef who had prepared it.
Roasting eggplant is a very common method in Indian cooking. There are many recipes of roasted and mashed eggplants across regional Indian cuisines.
I south India, we make a chutney with roasted and mashed eggplants, where you roast eggplant, mash it and mix with roasted ground lentils.
This Punjabi baingan bharta is very popular in north Indian restaurants, buffets etc. This dish is also made very commonly in Indian homes.
Now there are many ways to make Indian bharta. The spices you add, seasonings and even cooking method varies. Roasting and mashing eggplant is the common base here.
My recipe will yield you super flavorful, tasty bharta very similar to restaurant ones. It is an authentic and traditional recipe of eggplant bharta where we use minimum spices. Please note whole spices or garam masala powder are never a part of this recipe traditionally. You can add garam masala if you like though but I do not prefer it.
The flavor of roasted baingan is the star here and I let it be 🙂
Ingredients For Baingan Ka Bharta & Substitues
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 chopped green chillies.
- ground coriander
- ground turmeric
- cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- lime or lemon juice
How To Prepare Baingan Or 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.
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.
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 aluminum 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.
How To Make Baingan Bharta Recipe?
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 to roast the eggplant. 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 eggplant skin completely and mash it roughly using a potato masher.
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, finely 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 powder, red chilli powder, ground turmeric and saute well till the raw flavor leaves and tomatoes are well cooked.
Add the chopped or mashed eggplant, mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the finely chopped cilantro leaves and toss well. Serve baingan bharta warm with phulka.
Roasting Eggplant In Oven Or Air Fryer
If roasting the eggplant on stovetop 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 baingan bharta recipe. This way, the skin peels of on its own, very less effort too.
Choose The Right Eggplant
There are so many types of eggplants or brinjal used in various recipes in Indian recipes. The big dark purple eggplant with shiny skin is the most suitable one for roasting or grilling. This type of brinjal has very few seeds and also not bitter.
Always make sure the stalk of the brinjal is dark green and tightly shut as that is the indication of tender baingan.
Checking For Worms
While selecting eggplant for bharta we need to be extra careful as we are roasting it whole, which means we cannot chop it and check for worms.
While picking brinjal the skin should be smooth without any cracks or holes meaning no worms inside. Also when you are roasting eggplant, you will here mild bursting sound if there are worms inside. If you hear that or find a worm while mashing the eggplant roasting, discard the vegetable and start fresh.
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 powder, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, eggplant is nutrient rich and this dish uses relatively less oil. So baingan bharta it is healthy when eaten as a part of varied diet in moderation
Yes, you can leave out garlic if you do not prefer it.
Bharta means mashed. Any recipe where the vegetable is mashed, it is called bharta.
This eggplant bharta is a traditional dish from north Indian state Punjab
I hope you will try this baingan bharta recipe and enjoy as much as we did. Do snap a pic and share on Instagram with hashtag #cookclickndevou and please give a star rating ★ in the recipe card below. Follow us on Pinterest , Instagram, Facebook for more recipes and ideas. Thank you so much for being here 🙂
Baingan Bharta Recipe
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 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.