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 :).

Serves : 4 to 6

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.

Ingredients :

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 jalapeΓ±o, 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.

Method :

  1. 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.


  1. Heat oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Once these crackle, lower the flame. Add ginger, garlic and green chilies. SautΓ© for few seconds.

  2. Now add the chopped onions to the pan and sautΓ© 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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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 :).

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  1. 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 πŸ˜€ Your baingan ka bharta looks sooo scrumptuous!

  2. 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! πŸ˜€

    1. 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 :).

      1. 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. πŸ™‚

  3. 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!

      1. 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?

  4. 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 sautΓ©ed or boiled variety. Your baingan bharta looks delicious.