Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables. Almost all cuisines in the world have various dishes made using the humble Eggplant. In India too, we use Eggplant in multiple recipes. One of the most popular and loved Eggplant recipe though is Baigan Bharta.
Baigan Bharta is a spiced roasted Eggplant mash widely eaten in North India. It is made by mixing Roasted mashed Eggplant with Onions, Tomatoes and spices. The Eggplant used to make Baigan Bharta is the round, oval kind which is meaty and can be roasted on a gas flame. Long or small Eggplants will not work in this recipe.
There are many recipes and variations of Baigan Bharta in different regions of North India. Some recipes call for Mustard Oil, some for Ghee or vegetable oil. Some use ginger and garlic and some don’t. Some use Turmeric and others don’t. The state of Bihar also has a raw version of Baigan Bharta called Kaccha Bharta where roasted Eggplant mash is mixed with uncooked Onions, Tomatoes, Lime Juice, Cilantro and Mustard Oil. Every home in Northern India makes their own version of Baigan Bharta and all recipes are extremely delicious and unique.
I grew up eating Baigan Bharta. My grandmother, mother and aunts all make excellent Baigan Bharta. However one of my maternal aunts makes a very simple version which is the best Baigan Bharta I’ve ever eaten. I’ve had her Baigan Bharta on multiple occasions and have always been in awe of the taste every single time.
Ever since I was little, I have a habit of observing people keenly when they cook and what I noticed whenever my aunt made her lip smacking Baigan Bharta is that she uses very few ingredients. She completely omits the use of ginger, garlic, garam masala etc in her recipe and lets the roasted Aubergine do all the talking. She also uses truckloads of Ghee in her recipe along with a lot of oil. Her sliky Bharta tastes seductively delicious mopped up with hot Rotis.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE BAIGAN BHARTA:
My Bharta is inspired by my aunts, however I have used very little oil. I enjoy eating Baigan Bharta so much that I wanted a recipe that is flavorful and uses minimal oil so I can make it and devour it regularly. Since I absolutely love using cold pressed Mustard Oil in my cooking, I have substituted Ghee and Vegetable Oil with a tablespoon of Mustard Oil. Since this oil is pungent and has a strong Mustard flavor, a little goes a long way.
I use few basic ingredients to make this dish and everytime I make it, I’m in awe of how good it tastes.
The smokiness of the roasted Aubergine is so delicious in itself that very few additions are needed to compliment the flavor. I like to use Red Onions in this recipe. They are sharp and best suited for Indian cooking. I leave a bite to the Onions while sauteeing them for this recipe. The slight crunch of onions in the finished dish tastes magical and you have to try it to believe it yourself. I use fresh ripe juicy Tomatoes which are grated or crushed in the blender. I also love adding fresh Green Peas to my Baigan Bharta just the way my mother does. It adds a beautiful contrast and delicate flavor to the dish. I use a heaping tablespoon of good quality Kashmiri Mirch in my recipe. Kashmiri mirch is not very spicy and lends a beautiful red hue to the Baigan Bharta along with a mild spiciness. I also use homemade Coriander Powder. I cannot stress enough that homemade Coriander powder is a must have in your masala box. It tastes nothing like the ready made kind and adds a delicious earthy flavor to any dish. To make simply dry roast Coriander seeds in a cast iron pan, cool and grind in a coffee grinder.
MY RECIPE FOR BAIGAN BHARTA:
Place the Eggplant on the stove and keep turning on all sides until it is charred from all sides and cooked from inside.
Once roasted, remove the charred skin and mash the meat of the Eggplant with the help of a fork. Keep aside. Add Oil to a skillet Once hot add chopped Onions and sautee until translucent. I like to leave a slight bite to the Onions.
Add chili powder and coriander powder and sautee for a minute Add Tomatoes, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes on a low heat Remove the lid and sautee the mixture for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes are completely tender and everything looks well incorporated.
Add the roasted Eggplant mash and mix well
Add the green Peas and Salt. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat.
Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with hot Rotis.
SERVING BAIGAN BHARTA:
Baigan Bharta tastes best paired with hot Rotis and Paranthas and a bowl of chilled Cucumber Raita. I love adding vegetables like pureed Spinach, Bottlegourd, Pumpkin etc to knead my Roti dough. This makes my Rotis nutrient dense and delicious.
It gives me tremendous joy to share my much loved recipe with you. My version of Baigan Bharta is healthy, flavourful, quick and simple. Do make it and tag me on Instagram @supaintsonplates #supaintsonplates. I would love to hear from you.
- 1 large Eggplant
- 2 Onions finely chopped
- 3 ripe Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Mirch
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/4 Cup Green Peas
- Salt to taste
- Place the Eggplant on the stove and keep turning on all sides until it is charred from all sides and cooked from inside.
- Once roasted, remove the charred skin and mash the meat of the Eggplant with the help of a fork. Keep aside
- Add Oil to a skillet Once hot add chopped Onions and sautee until translucent. I like to leave a slight bite to the Onions.
- Add chili powder and coriander powder and sautee for a minute
- Add Tomatoes, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes on a low heat
- Remove the lid and sautee the mixture for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes are completely tender and everything looks well incorporated
- Add the roasted Eggplant mash and mix well
- Add the green Peas and SaltCover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy with hot Rotis