This easy baingan bharta recipe is going to be a sure shot hit at home! Baingan (eggplant/aubergine) is studded with garlic and roasted on an open flame, and then stir-fried with aromatics for the most delicious smoky flavor.
I’m a massive baingan bharta snob because there is nothing appetizing about pulpy eggplant or baingan. Bharta can either be slimy boring or it can be smoky amazing and I vote for you-know-what!
Of course I have a mom and grandma who make some epic baingan bharta and therefore – high standards. I’ve even managed to convert Denver who has usually takes one look at this dish and runs to the other corner.
But baingan bharta has a lot going for it. I love brinjal or aubergines or eggplant – whatever you call it in your part of the world, and this is definitely one of my favorite ways to eat it. Because there is something about roasting baingan on an open fire in its skin that just changes everything and gives it an incredible flavor. It’s top notch BBQ style.
I have experimented with this recipe over and over again and my conclusion is to keep it simple. The ingredient list isn’t super long but there are a few things that make a great recipe.
Top tips for an amazing Baingan Bharta
Choose the right baingan: Pick a baingan/ eggplant/ aubergine thats big and roundish without any indentations and has a shiny skin. Hold it in your hand and pick something which feels light compared to the others. The lighter ones have fewer seeds.
Roast it on an open flame: There are no shortcuts to this. The best flavor comes out when you roast it on an open flame (like I do in the video below). Thats when the skin chars and lends it the smoky flavor. I’ve tried roasting it in the oven and microwave but it never tastes the same. You can also roast it on a barbecue grill which will give it a beautiful flavor as well.
Give it time: Be patient while roasting the baingan because it needs to cook from inside. The entire process takes about 8-10 minutes on a medium high flame and you’ll need to turn it every 1-2 minutes for even roasting.
Let it cool before peeling: The baingan will be piping hot once you roast it, so cover it with some foil and let it rest for a few minutes. This creates a bit of steam and loosens the skin. I also like to dunk it in water once I’ve peeled the skin to get rid of any small bits of burnt skin which may still be stuck here and there.
I think every house has their favorite baingan bharta recipe. Mine is grandma approved. We love digging into this with hot, crispy rotis, dal fry and sliced onions.
This makes me realize – there is perfection in this world.
Watch Baingan Bharta Recipe Video (Step by Step)
Easy Baingan Bharta (Smoky eggplant stir-fry)
- 1 Eggplant large
- 3 Garlic Cloves
For the Bharta:
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds Kalonji
- 6 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Ginger grated
- 1 Green Chilli finely chopped
- 1 Medium Onion finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- Roasted Baingan Pulp
- 1 tablespoon Chopped Coriander
- Cut each clove of garlic in half. Make 6 small slits in the baingan and stuff the slits with the halved garlic cloves. Roast on an open flame for 8-10 minutes, turning the baingan every 1-2 minutes to make sure its roasted well on all sides. The skin should be blistered completely and the baingan should become really soft. You can prick it with a fork or knife to check if its cooked from inside. If not, roast for a few more minutes.
- Once the baingan is roasted, cover it with foil and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Peel the skin off and submerge it in water to get rid of any extra burnt bits. Remove it from the water, cut off the stem and chop it finely.
- Heat oil in a pan and add nigella seeds. After 30 seconds, add garlic, ginger, chopped chillies and onions. Stir fry till the onions are soft and add tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and salt. Mix well, and cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Add the chopped baingan and mix well. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add chopped coriander, mix and serve hot.
- Its best to use a large baingan/eggplant/aubergine for this recipe. The small variety doesn't have the same flavour
- You can roast the baingan in the oven but the end result will not be smoky
- Baingan Bharta in the oven: To roast in the oven, make slits in the baingan, stuff the slits with garlic and rub a little oil all over. Roast in a 200C oven for 45-50 minutes. Then follow instructions from Step 2 in the recipe