Baingan Bharta | Roasted Eggplant Curry

baingan-ka-bharta-roasted-eggplant-curry

Hello, from warm and sunny India! The little guy and I are here. Wish I could tell you it was a vacation – but nevertheless, here we are and we’re sure glad to be spending a few weeks without having to worry about winter-wear and snow boots!  I’ve been having a thing with the eggplant of late, and have some more really wonderful recipes to share in the coming days. This dish happens to be D’s choice pick, given it pairs really well with rotis or naan. Most recipes of the traditional Punjabi Baingan ka Bharta recipes call for mashing up the roasted eggplant to a pulp, but I find it better to retain some of the texture from the eggplant and that makes it easier to serve with both roti and rice. Other that that, the dish uses the usual line-up of onions, tomatoes and spices, with the option of adding another veggie or two for added flavor, texture and color (my favorite part!). You could surely use regular Indian brinjals instead of the large eggplants, but it is a lot easier to roast and peel the larger ones than a bunch of smaller ones.
diced-roasted-eggplant-for-baingan-bharta

Oh and did I tell you – it looks like almost everything can be frozen for later, as long as you make sure you freeze them while still  fresh and nice. D can vouch for that 🙂 So make a large batch while you can, and make it last a while!

baingan-ka-bharta-punjabi-eggplant-curry

Baingan Bharta | Roasted Eggplant Curry

Prep time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  1. 2 whole medium eggplants (aubergines)
  2. 1/2 cup bell peppers (any color) or shelled green peas
  3. 2 – 3 Tbsp cooking oil or ghee
  4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  5. 1 onion, chopped fine (1 cup)
  6. 3 tomatoes,  roughly chopped (2 cups)
  7. 3 Indian/Thai green chilies, or to taste
  8. 1 Tbsp fresh ground ginger and garlic paste (substitute with fresh chopped cloves of garlic and a piece of ginger)
  9. 1/4 tsp ground turmeric powder
  10. 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  11. 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander powder
  12. 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  13. salt to taste
  14. few stems of cilantro, finely chopped for garnish

Method:

Step 1: Bake / Roast the eggplant

baingan-bharta-roasting-eggplant-for-curry

  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Rub oil all over the skin of the eggplants, and place them whole on a baking tray/pan for about 20 minutes until the skin begins to shrivel.
  3. Remove from the oven and keep covered in foil for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. This helps easily peel the skin off the eggplants.
  4. Cut the stem off, and peel the skin from the eggplants.
  5. Dice the skinned roasted eggplants roughly all over to make into small cut pieces and set aside. Alternatively, you can fully mash up the peeled roasted eggplant too.

The alternate ways to do this are to roast the eggplant the same way as smoking peppers, on direct flame or on a grill, using tongs and flipping over until the skin is charred and the insides are almost cooked through.

Step 2: Prepare the curry

baingan-bharta-recipe-with-step-by-step-pictures

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.
  3. Add chopped onions along with salt, and cook on med-heat until onions begin to turn brown.
  4. Puree the tomatoes along with green chilies (also add chopped fresh ginger and garlic if using that instead of ready to use paste).
  5. Add the pureed tomato mixture and combine.
  6. Add the dry spices – turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder, and mix well.
  7. Cook with lid on for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato-spice mixture has fully cooked and oil begins to separate from the mixture.
  8. Add the roasted and chopped up eggplant, vegetable of choice (peppers or peas) and the garam masala powder.
  9. Add some water to thin the mixture to required consistency (1/2 – 1 cup should do) and cook with lid on for a few minutes until everything is well combined.
  10. Add garam masala and cilantro and saute for a few more minutes and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with rice or roti/ naan!

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Comments
6 Responses to “Baingan Bharta | Roasted Eggplant Curry”
  1. The Global Recipe Project at crowdedearthkitchen.com is seeking Punjabi recipes. I hope you will consider participating! 🙂

  2. trixpin says:

    Beautiful looking dish, and lucky you to be in a warm sunny place! We’ve got gales predicted for the next few days, and had a very wet walk earlier 😦 I think this curry might be just the thing to cheer the atmosphere!

  3. Rachel says:

    Eggplant is my favorite! Thanks for this — and I’m looking forward to the more eggplant recipes you mention!

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