Baigan Bharta is a famous North Indian vegetarian dish prepared with roasted eggplant that is mashed and cooked with spices, onion and tomato. It's served with paratha and makes a great healthy meal for any day of the week.
To break down the name, Eggplant is Baigan in Hindi and Bharta means mashed. You fire roast the eggplant and then cook it further with spices onion and tomato.
Eggplant, my absolute favorite vegetables and I prepare it in several ways. I don't think I will ever get bored with this vegetable. It's creamy and soaks any flavor you put it in.
Roasted eggplant is so good and once roasted you can use it in so many. If you ask my preferred choice, it will forever be Bengali style roasted Eggplant - Begun Poda
While Begun Poda is my first choice with roasted eggplant, Baigan Bharta is my husband's fav! So I keep switching between the two.
Ingredients you need:
- Green Chili
- cilantro leaves
- Cumin seeds
- Cumin powder
- Coriander powder
- Chili powder
- Aam chur powder (dry mango powder)
How to prepare Baigan Bharta
Start by slitting the eggplant and stuff cloves of garlic and green chili. I like to char the garlic and green chili too for extra smoky flavor.
Along with that, I also roast the tomato.
Remove the charred skin then instead of mashing it, I finely chop it using a knife (watch the video to understand better). This technique creates a fluffy texture of the eggplant.
Then do the same with the tomato, garlic and green chili.
Ina heavy bottom skillet, stir fry the onion and then add the charred eggplant, charred tomato, garlic and green chili. Add all the ground spices and cook it for a while.
Finish with cilantro leaves.
You must avoid adding too many spices and keep it very basic. The key flavor of the dish comes from the creamy, smoky charred eggplant. By adding too many spices, you will lose that key flavor.
WATCH THE VIDEO
MORE EGGPLANT DISHES TO TRY
You can find lot more in this link
What kind of eggplant works best for Baigan Bharta?
The large globe eggplant works best for this dish. Pick the one that feel firm to touch and is deep purple in shade.
Can you bake the eggplant?
Typically, for this dish you roast the eggplant in open fire which will give that char smoky flavor. When you bake eggplant, it will soften, and you can use that to make Baigan Bharta, but you will miss that smoky flavor.
You serve Baigan Bharta with paratha and if you have left over, try it on sandwich with some cheese. It is delicious in both the form.
- 1 large globe eggplant
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 green chili
- 2 small tomatoes (about 4 oz each)
- 1 medium red onion (8 oz)
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mango powder (aam chur)
- salt as per taste
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Make multiple slits on the eggplant and push it garlic cloves in a few of the slits along with green chili. Drizzle oil all over and give a massage.
- Then roast it in open fire by rotating it around, so it is charred all over. Once done, place the eggplant in a bog mixing bowl and cover the bowl. The steam will continue cooking the eggplant and softened it.
- Roast the tomato and place it along with the eggplant.
- Leave aside for 10 minutes, then peel the charred skin off the eggplant. Remove the charred garlic and green chili.
- Instead of mashing, using a sharp knife and fine chop the eggplant, tomato, garlic and green chili.
- In a heavy bottom pan, pour the rest of the oil and sprinkle the cumin seed.
- Next, scatter the finely chopped red onion, season with salt and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add all the ground spices, except dry mango powder, and toss it around. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes for the spices to cook.
- Finally, add the charred eggplant, tomato, garlic and green chili. Toss it around to mix everything and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the dry mango powder and cilantro leaves. Toss around and taste for salt. Add more if needed.
- Enjoy Baigan Bharta warm along with paratha.