Baingan Bharta / Roasted Eggplant Curry – a delicious and smoky Indian variation of the Mediterranean Baba Ganoush. This dish is simple yet delicious and has unique smoky flavours that comes from grilling the eggplant on direct fire or charcoal. The grilled eggplant is chopped/mashed, spiced up and cooked to a delicate finish. This smoky and flavour packed baingan bharta / roasted eggplant pairs well with Indian flat breads like roti / paratha /steamed white rice.
The word ‘baingan’ refers to eggplant / brinjal and ‘bharta’ means mashed. So baingan bharta refers to eggplant mash. The quality and taste of this dish entirely depends on how well you roast the eggplant. This curry tastes good even without the smoky flavours but if you can infuse some smoky flavours into the eggplant, then this curry tastes heavenly and delectable.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serving: 2 -3
- Eggplant – medium size
- Onion – 1 medium size
- Tomato – 1 medium size
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves
- Green Chilli – 1
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
- Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Coriander leaves – to garnish
- Oil – 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoon
Step by Step Instructions:
- Greasing the eggplant – Wash and pat dry the eggplant with a kitchen towel. Grease the eggplant with oil. Greasing the eggplant helps in getting a smoky flavour when cooked on fire. Make small slits on the eggplant using a fork or knife. Making small slits this way will allow the heat to penetrate inside so that the inside of the eggplant gets cooked evenly.
- Roasting the eggplant – Place the greased eggplant directly on fire and roast it on medium flame. Keep flipping the eggplant frequently using tongs from side to side so that all the sides are uniformly roasted. As and when the eggplant gets roasted, you will start seeing brown/black spots on the skin. Continue to roast the eggplant until the outer skin wrinkles completely and the inner fleshy part is soft and tender. Roast the eggplant until it almost collapses. Insert a sharp knife to check if the fleshy part is cooked well. Once it is done, turn the heat to high and roast it for about 30 – 60 seconds. Roasting in high heat at the end will give a smoky flavour to the dish. Switch off the flame and place the roasted eggplant on a plate and allow it to cool. The whole process of roasting the eggplant might take about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Peeling /chopping the eggplant & preparing the veggies: Peel the outer skin of the eggplant carefully and discard the skin. Chop or mash the fleshy part of the eggplant into small pieces and keep it aside.
- Finely chop the onion and tomato. Grind the green chilli, ginger and garlic to a coarse or fine paste.
- Spice up the roasted eggplant – Heat a pan and add 1 to 2 tablespoon oil. When the oil is warm enough, add the chopped onion. Saute` until the onion is transparent. Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for about a minute until the raw flavours go off. Add the chopped tomato and mix well. Close the pan with a lid and cook in low-medium heat until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and kashmiri chilli powder. Mix well and cook for a minute in low flame. Add little water and mix well. Now add the chopped eggplant and mix well. Add salt. Now check for spice level and add more chilli powder if needed. Add garam masala powder and cook for 2 minutes. Add little water to get the desired consistency. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve this delicious baingan bharta with Indian flat breads like roti / paratha and steamed white rice.
- Variation – If you prefer to add green peas, add them after the tomatoes are cooked.
- Green chillies give a nice flavour and taste to this dish. If you prefer green chillies over red chilli powder, you can add more green chillies and reduce the quantity of chilli powder.
- While roasting the eggplant, keep the heat setting to medium initially. This will allow the eggplant to cook uniformly. If the heat is on high initially, then the skin of the eggplant will wrinkle before the inside fleshy part gets cooked.
- Variation – While making slits in the eggplant, you can insert 2 or 3 garlic cloves inside the eggplant. This will allow the garlic to get roasted on direct flame which in turn enhances the flavour of the dish.
Check out my other recipes with Eggplant:
- Roasted Eggplant Chutney / Kathirikkai Thogaiyal
- South Indian Stuffed Eggplant Gravy / Ennai Kathirikkai Kuzhambu