Baingan Bharta is a super delicious smoky eggplant recipe from India.This vegan recipe is a must-try even by those who don’t like eggplants.
In the very beginning of starting this blog, I shared the recipe of a Vegan Arabic side dish-Baba Ganoush. It soon became one of the most popular recipes on my blog.
I mentioned in that post that when I tasted Baba Ganoush for the first time, I didn’t like it much as I grew up eating a similar Indian dish- Baingan Bharta.
Unlike Baba Ganoush, Baingan bharta is served hot, is a lot spicier and is a main course dish.
Though now I love Baba Ganoush, Baingan bharta is still my favorite and today I will share its recipe with you.
After shifting to Dubai, I always avoided making Baingan ka bharta due to the extra sensitive fire alarm in my kitchen.
Even when I made it, I used the oven instead of roasting it over direct flames. Though it still tastes good but doesn’t give that authentic smoky flavor for which Bharta is loved by so many people.
Last weekend, I finally took the risk of roasting eggplants in my kitchen. I opened all the windows, switched on the AC and charred the eggplants over direct flames.
Thankfully it worked and I didn’t have to face the embarrassment of explaining the reason to the security team by raising fire alarm.
The risk was worth taking as we got to enjoy the authentic Baingan ka bharta after 3.5 years of shifting to Dubai.
Even if you are an eggplant hater, I would highly recommend you to try it at least once.
In India also it’s one of the favorite vegetarian recipes of many eggplant haters.
If you are using an electric oven or don’t have the facility to roast the eggplants over direct flames, you can use your oven. For that please refer my Baba Ganoush recipe.
Tips to make the most delicious Baingan Bharta:
- Use only the large round variety of eggplants like the Italian eggplant.
- Select the one with lesser seeds. To do that lift the eggplant in your hands and pick up the lighter ones. The heavy eggplants will have more seeds in them.
- Prick at different places over the eggplant with a knife. It will help the heat to reach inside and cook the eggplant more evenly.
- Have patience while roasting the eggplants. It will take around 10-12 minutes to roast them completely. They should be cooked nicely till the core.
- Another great tip from my mother to get that extra smoky flavor is to char the tomatoes, garlic, and ginger too. Though optional, it’s worth trying.
- Use mustard oil to cook Baingan bharta. It gives that extra sharpness to the dish.
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How to make Baingan Bharta:
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Making time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- Eggplants: 1 large/ 2 medium
- Onion: 1 medium
- Tomatoes: 2 medium
- Ginger: 1-inch piece
- Garlic cloves: 4-5
- Green chilies: 1-2/ as per taste
- Chopped coriander leaves: 1/4 a cup
- Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder: 1/2 a tablespoon
- Red chili powder: 1 teaspoon/ as per taste
- Turmeric: 1/4 a teaspoon
- Salt: as per taste
- Mustard oil/ any oil of your choice: 1.5 tablespoons
- Prick all over the eggplant with a knife. Rub a small amount of oil on the eggplant.
- Now put it over direct flames on high heat and roast for around 10-12 minutes, rotating in between after every 3-4 minutes till the outer surface gets completely charred and the eggplant gets nicely cooked till it’s core.
- Once done put the eggplant on a plate and let it reach the temperature you can handle.
- In the meanwhile roast the tomatoes, garlic and ginger and finely chop them. Chop the onion and green chilies too.
- Now peel off the outer burnt skin of the eggplant. If the eggplant is cooked nicely, the skin will come off very easily.
- Discard the skin. Though try to remove as much skin as possible, don’t worry if there are few very tiny burnt pieces left in the pulp. They will be soft and give extra smoky taste to the bharta. Some people wash the eggplant at this stage to get rid of the small pieces but I won’t recommend doing that as it also washes off the smoky flavor.
- Mash the eggplant pulp nicely with a fork or knife.
- Heat some oil in a pot and add cumin seeds to it.
- When the seeds start spluttering add in the chopped onions and cook till the onion turns golden brown.
- Next add in the chopped tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilies, all the dry spices, and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Once the tomatoes are done, add in the mashed eggplant pulp. Mix and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with roti or paratha.