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.
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.
How to roast eggplants for baingan bharta?
To make baingan bharta, you need to roast eggplants which can be done in several ways –
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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Baingan Bharta Recipe
- 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
- 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 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.