Thursday, November 14, 2013

Baingan Bharta | Fire Roasted Eggplant

The way the humble eggplant transforms into this bowl full of yumminess, when it is slow roasted directly over flame, then mashed and blended with spices and cooked to perfection, has always fascinated me. Such a simple technique, yet the output is but classic! 

For all you fellow Baingan Bharta lovers, I am sure you agree on its smoky deliciousness. And for those of you who do not know about this dish or haven't tasted it yet, but adore eggplants... well, you are definitely missing out on something and please do yourselves a favour and treat yourselves to this at the earliest! :)

I guess it is process of cooking the eggplant directly to fire that infuses this wonderful smokiness to this dish. Just like barbeques and kebabs, you know. And by roasting it, it gets so convenient to skin the eggplant and pulp the well cooked flesh that lies inside. The whole process is surprisingly easy. 

In fact, this dish is also recommended to all of you who are not too fond of eggplants. The final dish turns out so yum that the usual flavor of eggplant when diced or sliced and cooked into a curry or any other dish does not show up when you transform it into a bharta. Oh yes, the flavor is a whole lot different and yummy. The first time I served this, the hubby who is not too fond of this veggie, enjoyed them with some hot rotis :) In fact he had no clue that the dish was made of eggplants until I gleefully gave away the star ingredient.. only after he had relished his meal!! Teee heeee! :D

Makes: 1 bowl
Serves: 2


Big Purple Brinjal | Eggplant - 1
Onion - 1 big, finely chopped
Tomato - 1 big, finely chopped
Spring Onions - 1/2 cup (optional)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies - 1, finely minced
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp


  • Wash and dry the whole eggplant and place it directly over the stove flame. Allow to cook for a few seconds and then turn over. Repeatedly turn over to ensure even roasting of the eggplant. 

    Note: If left to roast on one side for too long, the eggplant may just overcook on that side and plop onto your stove. So ensure you turn it over at frequent intervals. 
    You can either use the eggplant stem to turn it over or if it is too short to handle, you can use a skewer to hold the eggplant with ease as you roast it.

  • At frequent intervals adjust the flame from medium to high, as constantly roasting on high will burn the skin while the inside remains undercooked and roasting at medium only will take a very long time for the eggplant to completely cook through.
  • Once the eggplant is completely roasted, the skin becomes flaky and slightly burnt. Do not over roast the eggplant as we do not want it to completely burn.
  • Keep the eggplant in a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • After the eggplant has cooled down, skin it and discard the peel. Now mash the eggplant flesh into a pulp using a fork/spoon or just you hands. Keep this pulp aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds. Toss in the onions and saute till light brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies. Saute till they all combine together.
  • Toss in the spices: chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Also toss in the spring onions. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Now, add in the eggplant pulp and mix well. Ensure all the spices are incorporated in the eggplant pulp. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Garnish with some spring onions and serve hot with rotis or rice.


  1. such lovely snaps of a simple dish... looks amazing...

  2. wowie this is my all time favourite well explained post Nan

  3. wow thats a mouthwatering bharta and looks so yummy !!

  4. Hello Nandita,
    You've glamourised the humble bharta and given it a new identity. Loved the nomenclature "Fire Roasted Eggplant Mash". Nandita, have you tried having bharta with toasted and buttered bread? it tastes YUM!

  5. Hi nandita,

    I like trying a new dish every weekend. You have explained a dish in a way that even a newbie can understand and cook. Your language is really expressive and humble indeed. Hats off