Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Baingan Bharta | Indian Roasted Eggplant

Having been one of those picky eaters as a kid, things as exotic as Eggplant would never ever find its way to my dinner plate - unless it was battered and deep fried - at which point, it could've been anything!

As a picky eater, I really missed out on the wonderful flavors a lot of vegetables offered because I was usually turned off by their texture. And as all Bhartas go, this thing appeared to be a mushy mass of yuck to kids overactive imagination. Ah, what I had been missing.
I tasted my first Baingan Bharta only about 5 years ago - and I absolutely loved the flavors, however,I still had some leftover squirmishness about its texture.

I bought an eggplant on a whim yesterday and resolved to make this recipe. And if I may say so, this dish is the best eggplant dish I've had, in a long time. The roasted eggplant has a nice sweetness to it, I've added fire with green chillies and there is a nice earthy background to it from all the spices.

I can think of many ways to serve this, as a traditional indian meal with naan or parathas, as a dip with home-made pita chips or on top of a crostini.You can pretty nicely swap this out for an eggplant caponata.
I might've intended to make the caponata when I bought the eggplant - I had been thinking about it for a while now. My memory fails me.

This is a relatively easy recipe, except for the roasting time for the eggplant, which can be 45-60 mins.
I used my cast iron pan for making this, and I've heard cast iron can impart a certain flavor to the food. I highly recommend using a cast iron pan if you own one! It seems to contribute to the recipe.

Prep Time :1 hrServes:2 people
Cooking Time :15 mins
>1 Large (Japanese) Eggplant
>1/2 Red or Yellow Onion - chopped
>1 small Plum/Roma Tomato - chopped
>1 Garlic clove
>1/4 tbsp Turmeric Powder
>1/4 tbsp Coriander Powder
>1/4 tbsp Cumin Powder
>1/4 tbsp Garam Masala
>2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
>1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds
>1-2 Green Chillies (optional)
>Cilantro to garnish
*Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
*Line a baking sheet with foil, prick the surface of the eggplant with a fork or a knife all over and place it on the sheet
*Roast in the oven for 40-45 mins, checking at 20-25 mins. You are looking for a shriveling eggplant skin and you will smell the cooked eggplant closer to 40 mins
*Alternately, if you are pressed for time, you can roast the eggplant on the gas stove flame, turning every so often until the skin is charred
*Once roasted, let it rest for 5-10 mins before peeling the charred skin off.
*Cut the top off and mash the cooked eggplant meat into a bowl or plate.Set aside
*In a cast iron pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds and turmeric.
*Once the cumin seeds splutter, add onions and garlic immediately after. Add green chillies to the oil, if using
*Let onion soften, 2-3 mins and then add the tomatoes
*Add remaining spices and let the tomatoes cook down. Since the eggplant is already cooked, you wont need much cooking time later
*Once tomatoes and onions are well incorporated, add the mashed eggplant and cook for 3-5 mins, till everything blends well together
*Add salt to taste, squeeze of lemon juice, and garnish with cilantro


  1. Girl! Your pic makes Baingan Bharta look good :)

  2. I agree with Shefali...not many people can make eggplant look tasty in a picture! This looks delicious.

  3. Roasted eggplant bhartha sounds so tasty. I agree there is something about roasting em...love it.
    Girl, how similar were we....I hated eggplants growing up too and now I crave for this goodness..well, at least we love it now and you've given me a dinner idea.

  4. I love the aroma of roasted eggplant. I have always loved eggplant, even as a kid.

  5. Yay! I have four eggplants that I don't know what to do with. I usually cook them Chinese style but I have been looking for something new. Now I need to pick up these Indian spices, like Garam Masala. My boyfriend is not a fan of the smell, so I'll have to wait until he works late. :)

  6. Ohhh I have been looking for a good recipe for this! Drool-worthy pics too.

  7. I could never make baingan bharta look so appetizing. Yum!!

  8. i used to be just like you when it came to vegetables and now I appreciate them more than ever. Eggplants are always hit and miss for me..I made a curry something similar to this yesterday and it was delicious, of course with naan :)

  9. Looks so tasty!!! I used to hate eggplant but finally I woke up realized how good it is!!! I love all the spices in this recipe!

  10. Ooh the best eggplant dish in a long time is a great endorsement!

  11. One of my fav and this looks scrumptious....

  12. looks delicious, I'm a huge fan of baingan ka bharta, I use my mom's version, this version looks amazing too.

  13. I loved eggplants as a child and love them now! This is one of my favourite dishes made with eggplants, this and Baghare baigan. Yummy!


  14. I love eggplant! and it's particularly nice roasted. Yours has such tremendous flavor - really nice. Thanks so much.

  15. My first time at your blog space. The baingan bharta sounds delicious. I started eating it much later in my life but now that I have started, I love it. The first click looks really great :)

  16. Eggplant is my favorite vegetable! Can eat it anytime and any preparation. This looks yummy!

  17. Eggplant is my favorite vegetable! Can eat it anytime and any preparation. This looks yummy!

  18. I love Indian eggplant dishes. I am a huge eggplant fan but the rest of my family are not (husband + 2 kids). I should make this for lunch when they are not home. Sounds like a really fancy lunch just for me. :) Thanks for the recipe!

  19. How delicious is this recipe! I am totally going to be making this VERY soon! Thank you so much for this idea! :)