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Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta

Shweta Arora
Baingan Bharta is a North Indian recipe made using roasted and mashed eggplant, cooked with onion, tomato base and Indian spices. This spicy smoked eggplant recipe is vegan, gluten free and pairs best with Indian flatbreads like Roti, Chapati or paratha. 
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large eggplant baingan
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 green chillies finely chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds zeera (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red chilli powder adjust to taste
  • ½ tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder), optional
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala adjust to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro (coriander) leaves finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Instructions
 

Prepping the eggplant:

  • Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Apply a thin coat of oil on the eggplant.
  • Make 4 deep slits in the eggplant using a knife. Insert garlic cloves into each slit.
  • Now you can roast your eggplant either on direct gas or in the oven or air fryer.

To roast eggplant (baingan) in oven:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F and line the baking tray with aluminium foil.
  • Once the oven is heated to 400F, place the prepped eggplant on baking tray in the oven and let it cook (rotating the eggplant every 20 minutes for even cooking) for about 45mins - 1 hr or till properly cooked. It will shrink a little and look wrinkled. 
  • Now broil the eggplant on high for about 10-12 mins turning the eggplant after 2-3 mins to provide uniform heat to all sides. Broiling helps provide the smoky flavor. Remove the tray out of the oven and allow time to cool.

To roast eggplant (baingan) on gas (Stove top):

  • Place the prepped eggplant (baingan) on direct heat and cook for about 10-15 mins or until completed roasted. Keep rotating the eggplant regular intervals to ensure it roasts evenly. Insert a knife and check, if it pierces through then its done.
  • Transfer roasted eggplant to a plate and allow to cool.

To roast eggplant (baingan) in air-fryer:

  • Place the prepped eggplant inside the air fryer and cook at 400F for 20-30 mins or until completely cooked. Insert a knife and check, if it pierces through then its done. Transfer to a plate or bowl and allow to cool. 

Mash the eggplant (baingan):

  • Once the roasted eggplant is cool enough to handle peel the skin off and then either with your hands or fork mash the eggplant. Keep this aside.
  • At this point you can wither cook with it or refrigerate in airtight container for couple of days  or freeze it for later use for up to a month. 

To make baingan bharta:

  • In a cooking pan heat oil and once hot add the cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add the onions and saute till they turn light golden brown.
  • Stir in the ginger and green chillies and saute for few seconds and add the tomatoes, salt and mix until combined. 
  • When the tomatoes turn soft add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, amchur (dry mango) powder, garam masala and coriander powder and mix well.
  • Cook till this mixture starts leaving oil from the sides.
  • Now add the mashed eggplant(with garlic), mix well. until combined and cover and cook for couple of mins. Finish off with some cilantro (coriander) leaves.
  • Punjabi Baingan Bharta is ready! Serve it hot with Roti/naan/chapati or and Indian bread of your choice. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I’ve used the oven to roast my eggplant but you could also roast it directly over fire or your grill or air fryer. 
  • To give it a more smoky flavor, I have broiled the eggplant after baking it. however this step is optional.
  • If your tomatoes are sour in taste, feel free to omit the dry mango (amchur) powder. 
  • Adjust the ginger and green chillies to taste if you like it more/less hot (spicy). 
  • Roasting the garlic with eggplant adds great depth of flavor to this simple recipe. 
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