Easy Baingan Bharta (fire roasted eggplant curry)

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Baingan bharta is a smoky-flavored curry made by mashing fire-roasted eggplants and cooking them in a rich onion-tomato gravy. A popular North Indian dish, Baingan bharta pairs well with roti or rice.

Baingan bharta served with naan
Baingan bharta

If you are in India and someone tells you “Bharta bana dunga”, you probably should run for your life. The word bharta means beating to a pulp. In the case of this recipe, it is the eggplant that is being beaten to a pulp to make this delicious tasting Bhaingan bharta.

How to make baingan bharta?

This simple vegan eggplant recipe involves roasting eggplants or brinjal either over gas or oven. The skin is then peeled off and the flesh is cooked in an onion-tomato gravy seasoned with spices.

Roasted eggplants emitting smoke
Roasted eggplants

How to roast eggplants for baingan bharta?

To make baingan bharta, you need to roast eggplants which can be done in several ways –

  1. Cooking eggplant on the stove – To avoid eggplant juice leaking all over your stove, wrap the eggplants with foil. It takes slightly longer to roast with the foil on but it saves time with the cleaning effort.
  2. Grilling in the oven – This is an almost hands-free way to roast the eggplants. Make slits on the eggplants and rub them with oil. Heat the oven to up to 450 degrees F. Place the eggplants on an oven safe sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Make sure to rotate the eggplants at around 20 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes on low to finish it off.
Overhead shot of baingan bharta along with garlic naan.
Baingan bharta

If you are a fan of Indian eggplant, Bharwa baingan (stuffed eggplants) is an easy and delicious recipe that you must check out.  This stuffed eggplant recipe pairs well with roti just like this baingan bharta recipe.

Check out these other vegetarian recipes that taste great with either roti or rice.

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Bhaingan bharta served in a brown and white bowl served with naan

Baingan Bharta Recipe

4.37 from 25 votes
Making Baingan Bharta (roasted eggplants) is easier than you think. All you need is patience and a good recipe :-). Make this delectable dish today!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Diet : Vegan, Vegetarian
Course : Main Course
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggplants, ~ 2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil 
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1- inch piece ginger, grated
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coriander, dhania powder 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, jeera powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • a teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Instructions
 

  • Cover the eggplant completely with foil and place it on a gas stove over medium heat.
  • Turn it frequently using tongs and roast them till the skin is completely charred (approximately 20 minutes) and the insides turn soft and cave in. Let it cool.
  • Peel the eggplants. Remove the seeds and mash it well. [ see note for directions to grill eggplant in an oven].
  • Heat oil in a wok over medium heat and add cumin seeds. When they start to splutter, add onions. Fry the onions till they turn soft and translucent (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Add ginger and garlic and saute it with the onions for a minute or so. Add tomatoes and continue frying them till they are soft and mushy, and oil begins to leave the sides of this onion-tomato base.
  • Add salt, cumin powder, turmeric, coriander and chili powder to this mixture and mix well. Add the mashed eggplant along with lime juice, sugar, and garam masala and mix it well. Let it cook for 10 minutes before switching off heat.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander, onions and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Goes well with rotis or naan.

Notes

Grilling eggplants in the oven - This is an almost hands-free way to roast the eggplants. Make slits on the eggplants and rub them with oil. Heat the oven to up to 450 degrees F. Place the eggplants on an oven safe sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. Make sure to rotate the eggplants at around 20 minutes. Broil for 5 minutes on low to finish it off.
Time-saving tip - Fry the onions and tomatoes in parallel as you roast the eggplant to cut about 20 minutes from your cooking time.

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Nutrition

Calories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 5gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 303mgPotassium: 1025mgFiber: 10gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 925IUVitamin C: 28.1mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 4.9mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : smoked eggplant curry

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8 Comments

  1. Hi there! This looks delicious. Do you think a combination of eggplant and yellow summer squash would work? I just don’t have enough eggplant. Thanks!

    1. Erin – I haven’t tried that combination but I don’t see it tasting awful – I would urge you to try that’s how new recipes are born 🙂

  2. Hi! I have made this recipe once before and fell in love with it! So did my 13 year old (always a bonus!) I don’t remember how I handled the recipe before but just noticed that in the directions, you have instructed to add salt (step 6) but it is not listed on the ingredient list.
    How much do you typically add? I probably just added salt to taste but am curious how much you add.
    Thanks for your site! It is refreshing!
    D

    1. D – Good catch! I’ll fix it right away. Most of my recipes will say salt as needed because everyone’s tastebuds are different. I usually recommend you begin with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there. I use about a teaspoon for this recipe. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  3. In your recipe, you list lemon juice as an ingredient, but in the directions refer to lime juice. Which juice should be used?

    1. Good catch, it should be lime juice. I have fixed it now :-). Growing up in India, limes were called as lemon. I still mix them up some times.

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