Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant)

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Baingan ka Bharta is a smoky Indian eggplant dish that’s full of flavor and surprisingly easy to make at home!
Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by Ashley of myheartbeets.com
If you like eggplants and Indian food, this recipe is definitely for you. This spiced and smoky Baingan ka Bharta is bangin’…. yup, I went there. I couldn’t resist… the play on words was way too tempting. It’s true though – this recipe is fabulously tasty.

When you think of “Indian cuisine” – Baingan ka Bharta is high on the list. While the recipe varies by region, many Indian restaurants tend to serve Punjabi Baigan ka Bharta, one of the most popular ways of making this dish. Baingan means eggplant and Bharta is a mixture of mashed vegetables. Combine the two and you’ve got an Indian mashed eggplant dish. It tastes better than it sounds.

To make this popular Punjabi dish, you first have to “smoke” your eggplants. Some old school folks (like my parents) do this by turning on the stove and cooking the eggplant right over the flame. You can certainly do this over a direct flame or on a grill – just cook until the skin is nice and charred. I prefer using my oven (less chance of me burning my fingers). Heat your oven to 500 degrees, make a few slits in your eggplant and rub it with oil. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping it over halfway then broil for five minutes. See step 3? That’s what you get when you peel the eggplant.

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by myheartbeets.comDoing this infuses the eggplant with a wonderful smoky flavor. Mix the smoky eggplant with the spiced tomato masala and eat it with Paleo Chapati or Paleo Naan. It’s also great served over basmati rice or spaghetti squash.

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by Ashley of myheartbeets.com

Enjoy this tasty, smoky and savory baingan ka bharta as a side dish or as your main meal! If you like eggplant, you will love this dish 🙂

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by Ashley of myheartbeets.com

This is one of the many delicious recipes in my eBook, South Asian Persuasion so if you’re looking for healthy paleo-friendly recipes with a lot of flavor, then be sure to check it out!

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant)

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by Ashley of myheartbeets.com

Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant)

4.97 from 31 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 4 tablespoons oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large white onion finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- inch knob ginger minced
  • 1-2 Serrano pepper minced (adjust according to preference)

Spices

Instructions
 

Prepare Eggplant

  • Preheat oven to 500°F.
  • Make four slits in each eggplant and then apply 1 tablespoon of oil over each eggplant. Place them on baking sheet and then roast in the oven for 40 minutes, flipping halfway.
  • Turn the heat up to a broil for 5 minutes, then remove the eggplants from the oven.
  • Allow the eggplant to cool, then remove the skin and chop the flesh. Set aside for now.

Prepare Sauce

  • While the eggplant is baking, add 2 tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Then add cumin seeds.
  • Once the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add onions and saute for 10 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano pepper and spices. Stir-fry for a minute, add tomatoes and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked eggplant and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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Baingan ka Bharta (Indian Eggplant Dish) by Ashley of myheartbeets.com

just for fun, here’s a picture of this dish from 2014:

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Jasmyn says

    5 stars
    Off the hook! This is better then anything from a restaurant. I didn’t have sarrento peppers so I used 2 Thai chili peppers instead.

  2. Mary Circo says

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and so flavorful and easy…once again my mom approved!!! Thank you so very much Ashley!!!

  3. Ashok says

    Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will definitely Share your Rrecipe with my friends.

  4. Michael says

    5 stars
    This is delicious. Do you think I could make a large batch and freeze some for later? Will it freeze well in your opinion?

  5. Diane Z. says

    5 stars
    We found this recipe perfect for our garden’s harvest! We used 3 large Japanese eggplants, a salad bowl of small heirloom Italian tomatoes, 3 Thai chilies still green with seeds (green and spicy), and 1 medium fully ripened Tequila Sunrise pepper with the seeds removed (sweet and hot). We served over long grain rice seasoned with Dukka. The flavors were amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe with Fairytale Eggplant, Black Beauty tomatoes, and different chilies. Very comforting and delicious! My partner thanks you for sharing <3

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi, I would suggest keeping the cook time the same even if you double the ingredients. The pot will just take longer to reach high pressure due to the extra content in the pot. Hope that helps!

  6. Vera says

    5 stars
    Amazing! I loooove Indian spices, so naturally I enjoyed this very much. I did however only use 1 teaspoon of salt and it was still a little salty, but not a big deal. Really good recipe, thank you 🙂

  7. Emily says

    5 stars
    This was delicious and easy to make. I added some peas as well (at the same time as the eggplant) because I wanted more veggies and it worked for me 🙂

  8. Penelope Haskew says

    5 stars
    I love this and it is the first dish I’ve ever made with eggplant that my family has not only eaten but enjoyed! I’ve used more eggplant in the last month than I have in the last 10 years and I love it! I’ve also tried adding zucchini and peppers it is always delicious.

    Thank you!

  9. Renu says

    Love this recipe just replaced paprika With smoked paprika to give it that flavor of eggplant being grilled on coal yummm.

  10. Shal says

    5 stars
    This was delicious!
    I’ve already passed the recipe o to 5 people and I o ly made it today. Going to check out your other recipes now!!!

    You’re a natural and it tastes like a mom made meal!

    Xo, Shal

    • My Heart Beets says

      Shal, I’m so happy to hear that you liked the baingan bharta! Thanks so much for sharing my blog with your friends – I appreciate you spreading the word!! Can’t wait to hear what you think of other recipes that you try 🙂

  11. Greg says

    5 stars
    I’ve mad similar recipes before, but this one turned out fantastic. I happened to have some already chopped and peeled eggplant that I just roasted in oil with some spices and then followed the sauce directions as stated. Great job.

  12. Julie Miller says

    5 stars
    5 stars and I haven’t tried it yet.. Hello,.Is this Keto friendly as I have just ticked the box for Keto, this sounds delicious and would love to try, also is dry cumin ok or does it have to be seeds?….Thank you.

    Julz

  13. Donna says

    5 stars
    We just had this and it was THE BEST!! We love eggplant and look for new ways to try it. This was hands down the best yet! Will definitely be making this a staple on our menu.

  14. Sindhu says

    Hi I really want to make this recipe but I only found young egg plants. The really small ones. Can I still make this using those? Please let me know.

    Thanks

  15. Mel says

    This looks amazing. Previous recipes I’ve used call for removing the seeds which tends to leave very little eggplant. You don’t mention removing the seeds. Do you leave them in?
    Thanks

  16. Isabelle says

    Hi! If I wanted to add salmon to this, would I cook the salmon raw in the sauce you think? I had this amazing dish in San Francisco called Machha Ra Bhanta and can’t seem to find a recipe to match it. Yours looks pretty close!

  17. Johonna says

    Thanks for posting! I enjoy making baingan ka bharta, and this looks like a good recipe. How many servings does this recipe produce?

  18. catherine says

    5 stars
    I love this so much! I have been going through so many of your recipes and they are hits. Looks like payday I will be buying the book!

  19. Alisa says

    I made this tonight for the first time and we both loved it. It smells so fantastic as it cooks, and really warmed up the house on a cold winter night. The flavours were excellent. I served it with tandoori chicken, basmati, and samosas. Thanks!

  20. Dagmara says

    5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I was so happy to have found it, because I discovered I loved baingan bartha in Indian restaurants, and initially couldn’t find a good homemade version.

    My oven definitely smokes up when I roast the eggplant, but a previous comment suggests I’m not alone :/ It’s not a huge deal though – I just follow the steps except I don’t flip the eggplant halfway, and wait a few minutes after turning the oven off to open it. Comes out just fine 😉

    Thanks for all the awesome recipes, Ashley!

  21. MS says

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed this! I didn’t have any garam masala, but it still worked out. And I added some paneer to the recipe because, why not? Thank you for sharing this recipe. It’s a keeper.

  22. Jen says

    Thanks for the great Instant Pot recipes! Your butter chicken was our first dish using it; we fell in love with our appliance. The Amazon links are appreciated, too:-)

  23. Sarah says

    5 stars
    Wow – just made this. So good. I added shrimp at the end that I had marinated in cumin, garlic, salt and ginger. It was phenomenal!!!!

  24. Shaun says

    This sounds great. I’m hosting a meal for 100 so I’m trying to figure out how much this recipe will yield as a side dish. Any suggestions on the amount I should multiply it by?
    Thanks

    • My Heart Beets says

      Oh wow! That’s impressive! I have no idea – it’ll depend on what else you’re making to go with it… Good luck, hope you’ll let me know what everyone thinks!!

  25. Michael says

    Hi Ashley,

    I had never been to your blog before, but stumbled on this page when trying to recreate a dish we had at a restaurant last week. The dish looked great, so I thought I would surprise my wife by making it last night. I must warn you that I am no cook. That being said, I executed the dish (with a few hiccups) pretty easily and it was amazing! My wife thought it was better than the original. We are also trying to eat paleo so no doubt I will be back to browse some other recipes. Keep it up!

    • My Heart Beets says

      I’m so happy you found my blog through this recipe!! And I’m happy to hear that you and your wife liked it so much 🙂 I hope you’ll let me know what other recipes you try from the blog! I highly recommend my vegetable korma and sarson ka saag!

  26. Jessica says

    5 stars
    Loved the recipe! As someone who doesn’t cook as often (the perks of a boyfriend who loves to cook!), I had an easy time with the recipe, though it seems to take me longer to get everything chopped up than it would for another person. Used two serrano peppers and definitely could have just done one. Thanks so much for sharing your creations with us. I look forward to trying another one of your recipes!

  27. Rachael says

    5 stars
    This has quickly become one of my staple recipes. I add sauteed chicken if I want a complete meal. It’s also excellent with a fried or poached egg on top. I make a double batch on sunday and eat it all week long. Thanks for another delicious recipe!!!

  28. J says

    4 stars
    hello! lovely recipe, and website. my partner and i love indian cuisine, and often try to improvise dishes at home that we’ve eaten at various restaurants. of course, we find our sauce is never quite to that almost-blended look that you receive when eating out. even the image you have here, of the first step, seems to appear pretty homogeneous, despite the relatively quick stir-fry time. so this leads me to my question (finally! hehe)

    how do you get that homogeneous texture to the sauce, without throwing it into a food processor or cooking on the stove for hours? does it have to do with how finely the vegetables are chopped prior to adding to the skillet? i can’t wait to hear back from you. we are testing this recipe right now, on a whim.

    thanks,
    jenna and ryan

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jenna and Ryan! Thanks for the kind words! The tomatoes are diced and so they are pretty small. While they do completely break down during the cooking process, I think that the eggplant adds texture so it’s not a completely smooth dish. If you want it smoother though you could always use an immersion blender? Hopefully I’ve understood/answered your question properly? Let me know what you guys think of the dish!

  29. laura says

    5 stars
    I made this last night. OUTSTANDING !!!! I use one jalapeno instead of the Serrano because that was what I had and no paprika but followed everything else… you will love this recipe. promise!

  30. dodi ellis says

    5 stars
    OMG… it’s SO delish… this recipe is definitely a KEEPER! I used to live in Sunnyvale and frequented Taj Mahal for their curry eggplant dish with naan since 1980’s! They’re no longer in business (sold to another Indian but it’s more of Punjab cuisine). Gosh, how I miss this dish! THANK YOU!!! <3

  31. Leslie says

    5 stars
    THIS WAS AMAZING!!!! I went to a new Indian restaurant a couple months back and the server suggested this dish. So it was a happy accident that I found your recipe on Pinterest. It is way better than the restaurant’s version. THANK YOU!!!!!

  32. Leslie says

    THIS WAS AMAZING!!!! I went to a new Indian restaurant a couple months back and the server suggested this dish. So it was a happy accident that I found your recipe on Pinterest. It is way better than the restaurant’s version. THANK YOU!!!!!

  33. Cassandra says

    I finally got around to making this last night, and it was SO good! Even my 2-year-old kept demanding, “More!” Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!

  34. K says

    Made this today and it was delicious! I used about 1.5 cans diced tomatoes instead and it turned out rather redder than yours, and next time I’ll cook the eggplant for less time (it was so soft after 40 minutes it was basically mush), but overall it tasted good, enjoyed it w some of your saag recipe (w collards instead of mustard greens), can’t wait for my almond flour to get here so I can have it with naan!

    While I’m commenting I might as well thank you for all your great recipes, I’ve also made your butter chicken and have malai kofta meatballs waiting in the freezer for me to make the sauce (and am planning on making your kadai chicken, samosas, and naan soon to have in the freezer too). As a celiac college student with multiple disabilities it’s so hard to eat without going broke or sapping all my energy or getting tremendously bored, but hopefully with the help of your blog Fall semester will come with significantly less vitamin deficiencies than it did last year 😀

  35. Edie says

    I made this for the first time last summer, trying to use up all the eggplant from our garden. I like Indian Cuisine but no one else in my household does so I would make a small helping. I can’t remember where I got the recipe but I don’t grill the eggplant just peel and cut it up for the dish. Totally loved it, made it a few times last summer, ate it over rice. 🙂 My favorite dish for eggplant is the Middle Eastern Maloube (spelling) with eggplant, rice and meat all cooked together, served with a yogurt salad.

  36. Tahirah Salam says

    I just made this again on Saturday and this time I doubled the recipe. I think this is going on my “once a week” menu for some time!

  37. Tahirah Salam says

    Hi Ashley!

    I made this last night and it really was bangin’ LOL! We had it with salmon curry and your paleo naan. FANTABULOUS!

  38. Mojie says

    It was very easy to make, my husband and I both love this dish and always wanted to make it.
    Thank you

  39. Lauren says

    I made this today and it’s delicious! Next time I will double the quantity so there will be lots of leftovers. 🙂

  40. Pamela says

    Excellent! I had leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Fantastic flavor. This is a new staple dish for us.

  41. Kate Koger says

    This sounds amazing I love eggplant but sadly my family are not big fans 🙁 – that will change – one day!!!!! (fingers crossed!!)

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