If you're looking for a healthy, tasty, meat-free dish, you'll love baingan bharta. This fast, easy-to-make Indian recipe is made from roasted eggplant mash and seasoned with a mouthwatering array of spices. It's a completely vegan dish that is spicy, tangy, and a little smokey. You'll need fresh eggplant, chopped tomatoes, garlic, and several of the spices common to the Indian cuisine like ginger, chili powder, and coriander powder. Serve your homemade baingan bharta with fresh roti, or naan, and a side of basmati rice.
Baingan bharta means eggplant mash in Hindi. The dish is made from roasted eggplant that's then mashed and cooked with savory aromatic spices. It's a popular dish in Northern India, and you'll see it on the menu of many Indian restaurants.
From start to finish, baingan bharta takes about half an hour to make. Make a few cuts into the eggplant and stuff each with a clove of garlic. Pick up the eggplant with a pair of tongs and roast it over an open flame for 10 to 12 minutes. Wrap it in foil and leave it to cool, then remove the skin from the eggplant. Mince the roasted garlic, then mash the eggplant. Set everything off to the side for the moment.
Next up, it's time to saute the ginger, garlic, and chili pepper. You'll want to cook them until they begin to change color which takes about 2 minutes. Mix in the onion and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes or until it becomes soft. Stir in the tomatoes, cooking them for about 5 minutes. You should start to see an oily sheen in your pan. Mix in the eggplant, roasted garlic, and spices, cooking for another few minutes over medium-low heat. Grab a fistful of chopped cilantro and use it to garnish your baingan bharta then serve hot and enjoy!
There are several ways you can roast the eggplant for your baingan bharta. You can do it on the stovetop or grill over an open flame for the smokiest flavor. Use metal tongs to hold it over the fire. This method is also the fastest.
Otherwise, try roasting it in the oven at 450°F for 20 to 30 minutes. To cook it in an air fryer, you'll want to preheat your air fryer to 400° and cook it for 20 minutes, making sure to turn it regularly so the eggplant cooks evenly.
The best eggplants for baingan bharta are medium to large purple eggplants with a firm texture and glossy, smooth skin.
For the best tasting baingan bharta, fire roast it over an open flame. This will give it the smokiest flavor and is faster than other cooking methods. You'll know it's done when it's tender.
If you like spicier foods, feel free to add extra chopped green chilis to your spicy eggplant mash.
Transfer leftover baingan bharta to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Baingan bharta lasts up to 1 month when frozen.
Start by eggplant preparation. Rinse and dry the eggplant. Lightly coat it in oil, then make a few cuts into it. Push the garlic cloves into the cuts then put the eggplant over direct heat and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, turning periodically.
Once cooked, wrap in foil to cool. Peel the skin and remove the garlic and chop the roasted garlic. Set aside. Mash the eggplant with a fork and set it to the side.
For the baigan bharta, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute garlic, ginger, and chili for 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in onion and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until they become soft but before they brown.
Stir in the tomatoes, cooking them for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they become soft.
Stir in the eggplant and chopped roasted garlic. Mix in the chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Lower the heat and cook for several minutes.
Add in the cilantro, stir to combine, then remove from heat.
Use olive oil, vegetable oil, or ghee to cook your baingan bharta.