Baingan ka Bharta / Roasted Eggplant Mash
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Baingan means Eggplant or Aubergine or Brinjal or Bademjan in different parts of the world! Bharta means Mash!
A rustic and finger lickingly delicious dish from the state of Punjab in Northern India. Punjab used to have a culture of Saanjha Chulha, which means Common Stove. A neighborhood would have a big clay oven and the women of the neighborhood would gather in the evening there to cook their rotis / breads together. It is still prevalent in very small towns called pind but a rare commodity. That stove was lit with wood and other natural ingredients, so after the breads were done, they would put a big vessel of lentils to cook overnight on that and would bury potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, eggplants etc in the lower portion of that stove which has sand at the bottom. By the morning, they would have a nicely done slow roasted vegetables available for cooking. Interesting? I think so :).
I am dedicating this post to Sue of Birger Bird for her love of Bharta, as she mentioned to me last time on my korma post! I hope you enjoy this Sue as much as I do! One of my favorite dishes in the whole wide world :).
Kitchen Equipments Required : chopping board, knife, big pan with lid or Kadhai (nonstick or hard anodized preferred), potato masher or a stir spoon, baking tray, oven.
Eggplants : 800 gms or 1 big or 2 medium.
Onions : 2 big, chopped fine
Tomatoes : 4 big, chopped fine
Ginger : 1 big piece, minced
Garlic : 3 big pods, minced
Green chilies : 1 to 2 or 1/2 of jalapeño, minced
Cilantro / coriander leaves : 1/2 cup packed, washed and chopped fine.
Oil : 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder : 2 tbsp
Red chili powder : 1/4 to 1/2 tsp, as per taste
Fennel powder : 1/4 tsp, optional
Garam Masala : 1 to 2 tsp, a super taste
Salt : as per taste. I used 1&3/4 tsp and my food is not very salty.
- Prepping the Eggplants / Brinjal / Aubergines : Traditionally the eggplants are roasted in tandoors (clay ovens). The slow roasting releases juices and gives them a smoky flavor with charred skin which is a peculiar trait of this dish. In the absence of tandoors for home preparations, people roast them over direct and low flame of the gas stove.
Another way, that I follow is I broil or grill the eggplants in the oven. Put the oven on Broil / Grill setting and line a baking tray with foil. Grease it lightly. Cut the eggplant in small pieces and roast or broil them in the oven from 2 sides till they are golden. Now while broiling or grilling , it is important to be alert so that the eggplant pieces do not burn. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes for the whole procedure. Once done, take them out and cool them slightly. Then peel the skin from the pieces. Yes, it’s skin free ;). Refer to the picture below.
- Heat oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Once these crackle, lower the flame. Add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté for few seconds.
Now add the chopped onions to the pan and sauté on medium flame till they turn reddish. It takes about 10 minutes. Note : Do not stir constantly since it leads to the loss of heat and takes it longer to brown the onions.
Add chopped tomatoes and mix well. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes till the tomatoes become soft. Now add all the spices besides garam masala. Mix well and cook on medium flame for another 7 to 8 minutes till onions and tomatoes look happily married.
Now add the peeled eggplant pieces. Mix well. Use the potato masher and mash the whole thing well to bring it together as a mash.
Cover the pan with lid and cook for 10 more minutes on lower medium flame. Stir occasionally. Note : The key to the taste of this dish is, longer you roast it on low flame, more flavors !
Serving Suggestions :
1. This can be a fantastic dip like baba ghanoush along side of some cut naan pieces for any party.
2. Best eaten with rotis, paranthas and naan.
3. I can eat it as is and another of my favorite is eating this with a thick slice of rustic bread. Yum!
Taking it for the share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co hosted by Marghy and jhuls
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :).
The dish looks so comforting and tasty! With fresh bread yumyum! 🙂
Looks and sounds wonderful, Sonal…I bet warm naan would be delicious with it too. 🙂
A fantastic looking hearty dish Sonal! I wasn’t familiar with Baingan ka Bharta but now I am, woohoo! I also enjoyed reading about the communal oven.
LOVE this Sonal, I am such an eggplant lover this dish sounds incredible. Saved.
had to come back for a second look.. it’s stunning!
Mr. Fitz! The punjabi blood ;).
Agreed!! Am having a sprout subjee mama made us tonite ! With my takd on pooris.. ‘Puffys’!!
Puffys = Pooris ;). Niceeeee! Sprout subjee sounds yum too!
I have to admit it was delicious!
Love your eggplants, they look so tempting ans tasty, Sonal. In Arabic we call them Batenjel close to Bademjan 😉
Thanks for another word Linda. Do you have any eggplant recipe that i can try??
Even though eggplants are an extremely versatile vegetable you made something very impressive Sonal! Thanks for being at FF!
Thanks Marghy! The eggplant parmisian is next on my list! Bharta is a very traditional diah from one of the northern states.
Sonal, the one thing I regret about having electric hotplates at home is that I dont have an open fire to char eggplants for bharta!! It is one of my absolute favorites too! I have decided this year, when we light our fireplace for winter, I’m gonna sneak in an eggplant and see what happens 😀 Your baingan ka bharta looks sooo scrumptuous!
That soujds like fun! I am diing that too nectvtime ;).
Hey Sonal. This is my favourite eggplant dish on the planet. I never go to an Indian restaurant without ordering it. I am going to try your recipe so that I can enjoy it more often in my own home! Can’t wait! 😀
Really Chef? I am so glad to see that so many of my non indian friends are bharta lovers here! Ot took me so much time time to put this recipe on blog! Kept contempleying if eberybody would like itbor not :).
Trust me, I am going to make this one! I just found the most amazing recipe for butter chicken, made with coconut milk. Not, traditional, I know, but wow, was it good! The next time I make it, I will make your Baingan Bharta to accompany it. 🙂
MY BHARTA MY BHARTA!!!!! You just made my year! That was so thoughtful of you to dedicate a recipe to me. I love doings things just like you did here and thank you again! Now, totally excited that i have all I need for my beloved bharta except garam masala. Have a fabulous weekend!
I am soon going to do a give away for thanksgiving of my home made masala sample :).
Mmmmm, yum!!! I’m sure your Thanksgiving spread is so amazing. Do you make a giant masala for the main dish or a tofurkey sort of thing?
Love anything with eggplant in it…..it would be a good appetizer at a party, served with pieces of naan, you’re right.
I am so going to try this as appetizer in my next party :).
Also one of my fav dishes! The smoky flavours.. mmmm mmmm good!
I love baingan bharta. The fire-roasting gives it the best taste, but I don’t have a gas burner 🙁 Need to try your roasting method.
It was not as authentic as charred one but really yummy!
What a warm comfy dish. It is just beautiful and looks delicious.
Thanks Julie 🙂
your dishes always look so amazing, always make me hungry x
And i am still waiting for you to ring my door bell to join for a meal 😉
oh I think I got lost last night with all the ghouls etc distracting me 😀
Lol ;). I understand that! I was flying in my broom when suddendly i lost it ! Hahhaaa
crickey that sounds dangerous!!! x
One more variation of the bharta to try. 🙂
looks awesome 🙂
This looks SO delicious- I love all of the ingredients- YUM. a must try over here!
I know you will love it Josette :). Did you see i made the pasta 2 days ago and that too baked ;).???
I just did!! How did I miss it!?!? Looks SO good too 🙂
I saw this pic on IG yesterday and YUM!
Thanks Laura! How are you?
Wohooo!! I love eggplants, Sonal. Thanks for bringing this today. Happy FF. 🙂
Thanks Jhuls! Have fun checking out eveeybody’s dishes ;).
YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!!
:). I knew yoh wiuld like it.
I’ll definitely be making it!
An all time favourite.
Mine too 🙂
We never ate brinjal when we were growing up. It didn’t usually enter Jain houses. But my husband had eaten more than his share at his friends place, and so when I got married and moved away, we brought this wonder veggie home. I love the smokiness of the bharta, the charred grilled taste lingers longer than the sautéed or boiled variety. Your baingan bharta looks delicious.
Thanks Namrata :). I agree ! I have boiled it in pressure cooker and microwaved it too…but charrd taste is the supreme :).