Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta

For my non-Hindi speaking friends – Baingan is the Hindi word for Aubergine/Eggplant. Today’s post on Baingan Bharta is one of the acclaimed Vegetable Mains dish, made using Aubergine/Eggplant. Baingan Bharta is mostly famous in North Indian states, and is made using roasted and mashed aubergine cooked with onion, tomato, garlic and Indian spices.

Traditionally aubergine used to be roasted over charcoal or direct fire to give it a smoky flavour. However personally I do not prefer the smoky flavour and, so I have made it without roasting – my own bit of innovation 🙂 . There seems to be a misconception, in India generally, about the nutritional value of aubergine. Hopefully my previous post on Aubergine curry with peanut and sesame seeds have clarified the nutritional value of this lovely vegetable. In a nutshell, aubergine is a very nutritious vegetable full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres.

There are many versions of Baingan Bharta as per the different regions of India – in Punjab people use onion, tomato, garlic and spices; in Bihar people generally don’t do the tempering and prefer eating it almost raw; in Maharashtra people make it using very less spices and no tomato.

I love my own version of Baingan Bharta; the best part is that no one has been able to differentiate the taste between my boiled version and the roasted version 😉 I also add peas in my Bharta as my little angel simply loves peas.

The ingredients for making Baingan Bharta are :

  1. Aubergine (Eggplant / Baingan) : 2 big
  2. Onion : 2 (chopped)
  3. Tomato : 1 big (finely chopped)
  4. Green chilli : 3
  5. Peas : 1/2 cup
  6. Garlic : 7-8 cloves
  7. Ginger : 1 tsp
  8. Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
  9. Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
  10. Coriander Powder : 2 tsp
  11. Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch
  12. Salt : to taste
  13. Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
  14. Dried Mango Powder (Amchur) : 1/2 tsp
  15. Garam Masala : 1/4 tsp
  16. Oil : 2 Tbsp

Method :

Wash the aubergines and cut the top with a knife. Then cut the aubergines into half. Put all the cut aubergines in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Cook them till one whistle; switch off the flame and then take out the steam from the pressure cooker. Now take them out in a colander so that the water drains out.

Let the aubergines cool down; then peel off the skin carefully. Take all the pulp into a big plate and mash it with a masher / spoon, so that there are no lumps.

Heat oil in a pan, and do tempering with asafoetida, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger; sauté for 2 minutes. Now add onion and again sauté till it becomes translucent. Now add green chilli and sauté for a minute.

Add tomato, and mix well; cook covered for 2 minutes. Then add peas and mix well. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt; mix well and sauté for 2 minutes.

Now add the mashed aubergines and cook on simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add dried mango powder; mix well and sauté for a minute. Then add garam masala; mix properly and switch off the flame.

Your deliciously tasty Baingan Bharta is ready to be served. Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy with chapati, parantha, kulcha or naan !

Insider Tips / Finer Points :

  • If you like smoky flavour then you can roast aubergines on the gas top.

  • You can also roast the aubergines in an oven – Preheat the oven on 200°C. Line the baking tray with an aluminium foil. Brush aubergines lightly with oil. Make thin slits, from top to bottom, in the aubergines using knife. Now place the baking tray in the oven on 200°C for 45-60 minutes. Rotate the aubergines in every 15 minute for an even cooking. When the aubergines are done, take them out, and allow them to cool down. Then peel the skin off and mash the aubergine with a masher/spoon.

  • For more smoky flavour, you can further boil the aubergines for 10-12 minutes after roasting it in an oven.

  • You can also cook the aubergines in a microwave – Cook the aubergines for 8-10 minutes in a microwave safe dish. Then peel off the skin and mash it.

  • You may adjust spices in accordance to your taste buds.

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