Baingan ka Bharta is a smoky Indian eggplant dish that’s full of flavor and surprisingly easy to make at home!
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.
Doing 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.
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 🙂
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!
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.