Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Baingan Bharta

Today's post is in response to a recipe request. One of my friends had asked for this recipe a couple of weeks back. So, this one's for you dear friend...

Eggplant or brinjal (baingan in hindi) is one of those few vegetables that neither me nor my husband like! But this particular recipe is the only way we don't mind including this vegetable in our diet. My son likes it too. So, I definitely make it off and on...

Traditionally eggplant is roasted on an open flame to char the skin. This gives it a nice smoked aroma. But unfortunately, living in an apartment with an unventilated kitchen causes the fire alarm to trip if I try making bharta this way!

Another option is to prick the skin of the eggplant with a knife making slits all over, placing it in a microwave safe bowl, covering with cling wrap with a slit in it and nuking it. This works fine, but it does not give the smoky flavor that I like.

Then I tried using the broiler setting by place the eggplant in a deep dish in the oven. This works too, but takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Finally, I placed the eggplant directly in the broiler. This result was perfectly charred skin and nicely cooked eggplant in less than 20 minutes!

Feel free to use whichever method is convenient to you and then proceed further with the recipe...

Preparation & Cooking: 45 minutes (including 18 minutes in the broiler)            Serves:2-3

Eggplant/Brinjal/Baingan - 1, large & firm
Onion - 1 small, chopped fine
Ginger - 1 teaspoon, minced
Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced

Tomato - 2 tablespoons, diced fine
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Coriander/Dhania Powder - 2 teaspoons
Cumin/Jeera Powder - 1 teaspoon
Dry Mango/Amchur Powder - ½ teaspoon
Turmeric/Haldi – ¼ teaspoon
Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder - ½ teaspoon 

Garam Masala - 1 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Cooking Spray (or oil) – to grease the eggplant before broiling
Cilantro leaves - 2 tablespoons, chopped fine
Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons

  • Wash and dry the eggplant, grease it with oil or cooking spray, insert skewers and place it in the broiler for about 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, turn the eggplant around and leave it in for another 8 minutes.
  • Let it cool for a bit in the broiler and then remove it. By now the skin should have nice charred and it should be easy to peel.
  • Peel off and discard the skin from the eggplant and chop it.
  • Heat oil and add the cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the chopped onions and the minced ginger and garlic and saute.
  • When the onions begin to brown, add the coriander powder, cumin powder, amchur powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Before the spices can burn, add the diced tomatoes. I use a food processor to chop the tomatoes, so its almost a rough puree.
  • Next add in the eggplant and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash the eggplant while cooking.
  • Finally, add in the garam masala and let it cook for another minute or so then turn off the heat.
  • Just before serving, add the lemon juice and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

This goes well with chapathis as well as a side to rice dishes.

Handy Tip:

If you have problems peeling off the skin of the eggplant, just hold it under running water for a couple of minutes, the skin will automatically come off!

Sending this across to Vardhini's ”Dish it Out” event guest hosted by Pavani of Cook's Hideout


  1. I came across your blog while looking for some Indian food recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye out for all your recipes :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this information, I really appreciate your cooking skills, Thank You! I love this dish so much. I have learned this dish to prepare when I was studying in the best hotel management colleges in kolkata


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