Baingan Bharta is a grilled/roasted minced eggplant cooked with herbs and spices.
I am not a big fan of eggplants unless it is cooked certain way. Growing up I did not really eat this eggplant dish at home or restaurants. However this classic dish grew on me as I grew older. And I believe the reason is that I cook it the way I personally like it. I am not going to lie and say that I always enjoyed cooking this dish. Let me explain why!
Roasting eggplants on fired up coals or directly on the stove top are some of the great ways to add smokey flavors. Here in the states it is hard to do the coal method. And I personally do not like the stove top method due to the mess it makes. So I found the method that works best for me. Roasting eggplant in the oven and then at the end using fired up black cardamom to add smokey flavors! One more key ingredient in my version of Baingan Bharta is mustard oil, it adds such unique flavors. Below are all the details.
Baingan Bharta is a classic Indian curry which happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan. It pairs so well with makki ki roti (corn flatbread), paratha, naan, kulcha etc. Add a side of crunchy salad, buttermilk, Indian Style Pickled Jalapeños and papad! I like to make my MUMMY’S DAL FRY, IP JEERA RICE and KAJU ANJIR RABDI along with this eggplant curry to make a full meal. It makes a great Indian dinner menu when you host.
This dish can be great option for meal prep. You can certainly make it ahead of time and enjoy throughout the week. You can use leftover Baingan Bharta to make spiced up panini with spicy smokey cheese, some butter and sourdough bread. Try it and thank me later!! If you end up making this classic Indian curry and like it, leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @myvegetarianroots. I would love to hear your feedback!
Happy & Healthy Eating!
Ingredients for roasting eggplants (following ingredients should yield 3¼ cup of roasted eggplants)
- 2 x-large Eggplants Globe Eggplant/American Eggplant
- 8 cloves Garlic
- 3 Thai Red or Green Chili more for more heat
- 1-2 tbsp Mustard Oil peanut oil would work well too
- 3 tbsp Mustard Oil peanut oil would work well too
- 1½ cup Finely Chopped Onions
- 2 cup Finely Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Julienne Ginger hipping tbsp
- 1 tbsp Finely Chopped Cilantro Stems
- ¼ cup Finely Chopped White Part of Scallions
- 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
- ¼ tsp Asafetida (Hing)
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin Coriander Powder (dhana jiru powder)
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- 2½ tsp Salt more or less based on preference
- ⅓ cup Finely Chopped Green Part of the Scallions
- ½ cup Finely Chopped Cilantro
To add smokey flavors (Optional )
- 1 Whole Dry Black Cardamom
- 1 tsp Mustard Oil peanut oil would work well too
- Roasting eggplants on direct flame or fired up coals are some of the best ways to add smokey flavors, however I cannot handle the mess it makes so I prefer roasting them in oven (instructions mentioned below).
- Make few cuts all over the eggplants by pocking knife in multiple spots. Stick in garlic cloves and Thai chilis in those incisions. Add a little oil inside those incisions and coat whole eggplants with some oil
- Wrap eggplants with generous amount of aluminum foil making sure the whole eggplant is covered. Wrap each eggplant in separate foil.
- Place wrapped eggplants in a baking trap. Roast them in the over on 400° for an hour (more or less) until they are very soft to touch. You might see some eggplant juice coming out on the tray, let it be!
- Once eggplants are roasted, let them rest for sometime until they are ready to touch. Peel the skin off and mince the eggplants very small along with garlic and Thai chili. It should make about 3¼ cups of minced roasted eggplant. Keep it aside.
Let's make Baingan Bharta
- Heat up 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan. Once hot, add in cumin seeds.
- Once cumin seeds start to turn brown and forms aroma, add in asafetida.
- Add in finely chopped onions, cilantro stems, white part of scallions and julienne ginger along with 1 tsp of salt. Mix well. Keep cooking until onions are completely translucent and starts to turn brown.
- Add in chopped tomatoes. Mix well, keep cooking until tomatoes are completely mushy.
- Add in 1½ tsp of salt (more or less based on preference), kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat or until oil starts to separate.
- Add in roasted minced eggplant. Mix well, cover and cook for 4-6 minutes. Keep stirring few times during this step.
- This step is to add smokiness and completely optional. Fire up one black cardamom, place it in a tiny bowl with 1 tsp of mustard oil. Place that tiny bowl in the pan you are cooking bharta and immediately close the lid for few minutes. Uncover and take the tiny bowl out. Discard black cardamom, add the oil in bharta and mix well. (check out the video above for visuals)
- Add in chopped cilantro and green part of scallions Mix well, simply serve it with choice of roti/paratha/naan/kulcha, onion tomato salad and papad!