Baingan Bharta – Roasted Eggplant Mash

Smokey roasted eggplant mash with Indian spices, this punjabi baingan bharta is a very popular dish in North India and one of my personal favorites too.

It’s best enjoyed with hot rotis or paratha!

baingan bharta served in a black bowl garnished with green chilies and a spoon on the side

Some veggies are liked universally while others have limited appeal, the eggplant (baingan in Hindi) belongs to the latter category. I don’t know how true it is but this is what I observed growing up, kids especially would never eat this vegetable.

My brothers are all grown now and they still don’t eat it! Anyway I have always been an eggplant fan, I like it in any form like in this bornai banjan or this eggplant mango kadhi but my most favorite way to eat it is baingan bharta!

Baingan Bharta is basically fire roasted eggplant mash cooked with spices. There are different ways of making this bharta [bharta=mash] but this is the most common way and the one you will find in Indian restaurants.

I know there are other ways because in the state of Uttar Pradesh and that’s where I am from, it is not made in this way at all. So as a child, I always ate eggplant bharta which was just smoked eggplant mash mixed with mustard oil, chopped garlic and some pickle masala.

In a way it tasted a lot like baba ganoush minus the tahini and olive oil. It used to be favorite until I was introduced to this Punjabi version.

baingan bharta served in a black bowl garnished with green chilies and a spoon on the side

How to Make The Best Baingan Bharta

The most important thing to get that real taste of punjabi banigan bharta is  to roast your eggplant on direct gas/flame. I know people roast the eggplant using microwave and oven too but for me the smoky aroma and flavor is what MAKES this dish so you have to fire roast the eggplant.

Another way to make it extra flavorful is to roast some garlic cloves along with the eggplant. You make few slits in the eggplant with a knife and then tuck in the garlic cloves before roasting.

The roasted garlic adds a lot of flavor. I go heavy on the garlic in my baingan bharta, use it while roasting the eggplant and also in my masala.

Once the eggplant is roasted, you mash it up and then cook it with ginger, onion, tomatoes and some spices. The real flavor of the punjabi baingan bharta comes from roasting the eggplant well so I haven’t used many spices here. That’s how it’s traditionally made too.

As you guys know, I am not a huge spice fan so I added only 1 green chili here and also used 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder. If you love your baingan bharta all spicy, use more of the green chilies and the red chili powder.

Sarvesh doesn’t like eggplant but baingan bharta is one of his favorites. That’s the special thing about this dish, you can love it even if you don’t like eggplant.

I think the smokey flavor that comes from roasting the eggplant makes it so flavorful that it’s hard not to like it, until and unless of course you are like my brothers who have made up their minds that bahrta is not to be eaten no matter what!

Baingan bharta is best enjoyed this roti or plain paratha. It goes well with rice too but I personally just polish off the entire plate with hot rotis.

punjabi baingan bharta served in a black bowl with rotis on the side

This Baingan Bharta Recipe

✓ makes the most authentic punjabi style baingan bharta

✓ is vegan and gluten-free

✓ is best enjoyed with roti or plain paratha

✓ sure to please even those who dislike eggplant otherwise!

I hope you guys give this recipe a try and love this baingan bharta as much as I do!

 

Method

1- Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Brush it with little oil all over. Then make few slits all over the eggplant with a knife. In 3 of those slits, insert a large clove of garlic. Put the eggplant directly on heat and roast, turning often for around 10-12 minutes until completely roasted.

2- Once roasted (to check if its done, insert a knife inside the eggplant, it should go easily) use a pair of tongs to remove the eggplant from heat and wrap in an aluminium foil to cool.

3- Once cooled, remove the skin. Meanwhile also chop the roasted garlic.

4- Transfer the roasted eggplant to a bowl and mash using a fork or potato masher. Set it aside.

step by step pictures of making baingan bharta

5- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic (different from the ones used while roasting the eggplant), ginger and green chili. Saute until they start changing color, around 2 minutes.

6- Then add in the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Don’t brown them.

7- Add the chopped tomatoes and mix.

8- Cook the tomatoes for around 5 minutes until very soft and you notice oil oozing out of the masala.

step by step pictures of making baingan bharta

9- Add the mashed roasted eggplant into the pan along with the chopped roasted garlic and mix well.

10- Add the red chili powder and mix.

11-  Also add the coriander powder and salt and mix to combine. Cook the bharta for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often.

12- Stir in the chopped cilantro and mix. Remove pan from heat.

step by step pictures of making baingan bharta

Serve baingan bharta immediately with hot rotis!

baingan bharta served in a black bowl garnished with green chilies and a spoon on the side

If you’ve tried this Baingan Bharta Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagramPinterest and Twitter to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2014.

Baingan Bharta

baingan bharta served in a black bowl garnished with green chilies and a spoon on the side
Manali
Spicy fire roasted eggplant mash, Baingan Bharta is best enjoyed with roti or parathas. This Punjabi Baingan Bharta recipe uses minimal spices for the best results! Vegan & gluten-free.
4.97 from 26 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Calories 114 kcal

Ingredients
  

For roasting the eggplant

  • 1 medium eggplant around 550 grams
  • 3 large garlic cloves

For the baingan bharta

  • 1.5 tablespoon oil I used vegetable oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 green chili or to taste, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion 120 grams, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes 280 grams, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Brush it with little oil all over. Then make few slits all over the eggplant with a knife. In 3 of those slits, insert a large clove of garlic. Put the eggplant directly on heat and roast, turning often for around 10-12 minutes until completely roasted.
  • Once roasted (to check if its done, insert a knife inside the eggplant, it should go easily) use a pair of tongs to remove the eggplant from heat and wrap in an aluminium foil to cool.
  • Once cooled, remove the skin. Meanwhile also chop the roasted garlic.
  • Transfer the roasted eggplant to a bowl and mash using a fork or potato masher. Set it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add chopped garlic (different from the ones used while roasting the eggplant), ginger and green chili. Saute until they start changing color, around 2 minutes.
  • Then add in the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Don't brown them.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and mix. Cook the tomatoes for around 5 minutes until very soft and you notice oil oozing out of the masala.
  • Add the mashed roasted eggplant into the pan along with the chopped roasted garlic and mix well.
  • Add the red chili powder and mix. Also add the coriander powder and salt and mix to combine. Cook the bharta for another 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often.
  • Stir in the chopped cilantro and mix. Remove pan from heat.
  • Serve baingan bharta hot with fresh rotis!

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 4gFat: 10gSodium: 958mgPotassium: 73mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 435IUVitamin C: 8mg
Keyword baingan bharta
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

61 thoughts on “Baingan Bharta – Roasted Eggplant Mash

    1. Thanks Vanessa! My hubby doesn’t like eggplants but this eggplant bharta is one of his favorite things to eat. Please let me know how it turns out!

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Thanks, Manali.

    Btw, you can also roast a whole eggplant in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Then once it’s cool enough to handle, you can cut it in half and scoop out the insides. This was how I did it since I don’t have a gas stove. You don’t even need to poke holes in it or smear it with oil.

    1. Oh yes, you can definitely roast the eggplant in the oven. Traditionally though, baingan bharta should always have that smokey flavor which we get by directly roasting on fire. But of course oven method works too! Glad you enjoyed it!

      1. If you’re not able to roast the baingan, there’s a product out there called “Liquid Smoke” that makes it turn out super yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the recipe I have been looking for! I am 85yrs.old, but never liked looking, but certain foods
    I have had stick in my mind and this is one. Thank you for keeping this recipe and allowing others
    to benefit from your generosity. I have already got the Egg Plants!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious and simple recipe! I’ve ordered this meal dozens of times, and never made it because I assumed it would be too complicated. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    I never knew the Baingan had to be smoked to get the right flavor. I have done the oven method, came out quite well. But I see what you mean Manali. Finishing up now and it smells and tastes fantastic!

  5. Hey, i have tried baingan ka bartha with cooked basmati rice and it was amazing.
    Buy now I m going to try the smoked garlic thing this time. Cheers!

  6. 5 stars
    The recipe is simple enough for a weeknight, but the results are outstanding. Grilling really transforms the eggplant. Thank you, Manali!

  7. Thank you so much for this detailed recipe with pictures, Manali!! I made this for the first time for someone who has only had it made by his Indian mother…and he loved it!!! And I am not skilled in the kitchen so that says a lot about your instructions. Thank you for helping me to actually have fun for the first time in the kitchen!

  8. 5 stars
    The only way I can consume brinjal is this..loved the recipe ..so simple and yet so tasty. Brings back childhood memories…much nostalgia cos i am in south india now, and we rarely get to buy these big brinjal …thank you for the recipe

  9. 5 stars
    I had to add a tablespoon of coriander pwd, and 3x the salt. I had 600gm eggplant and took 3 tomatoes.
    My husband liked it a lot.

  10. 5 stars
    The dish came out really well.. Will have it for dinner now …. thanks a lot Manali.. was conf8sed what to make with this 2egg plants I bought from market . My husband and myself both hate baingan . . But this is the dish that we love… Cheers !!

  11. Hi Manali ,
    I tried cooking after 13 years , yet it was so simple and tasty
    The best part what I liked about you , you have given recipee step wise with pictures easy to understand and follow

  12. Can’t wait to try today…electric oven so garlic roasted is a must! Jalapeño sub for green chili.?Hope it works as not planning on leaving my house.

  13. Hello Manali,

    I am planning to make this recipe for dinner today. So far whenever I have tried roasting baingan for bharta I am super scared of cleaning the gas stove afterwards. Any tips on how to keep the mess to minimum?

    Thanks
    Debo

  14. 5 stars
    I’m going to try this soon. I always order this at restaurants. Love it. One question… How do you pronounce it? Is it like “Bangin Bar-ta” Or Bang-ahn Bar-dha? Or “Bah-ing-ahn” (2 or 3 syllables in “baingan”?)

      1. I did it! Delicious. I rarely cook so I’ll tell everyone what I did wrong and how I overcame it. I did not roast the eggplant long enough. It wouldn’t mash, and I could not use the bottom portions (I made 2). Next time, I think I’ll roast the bottom first, and get it nice and hot before turning it on it’s side. I almost gave up after trying to mash unsuccessfully. I ended up cutting the whole thing into tiny pieces. Then I microwaved it for about 3 minutes. Then it mashed much better. Thanks for the great recipe Manali.

  15. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Loved adding garlic in the eggplants while they roasted – made it even better. The only small change I made was adding a half-teaspoon of Garam masala . Turned out to be a huge hit in my family and my eggplant-hating family have fallen in love! Thank you so much!

  16. Hi Manali,
    How high is your heat when you roast the eggplant on the flame? Also, if I am using this as a side dish for 5 people, do you think one eggplant is enough or I should make two?
    Thank you!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you! The recipe turned out very delicious. Good call on using 2 eggplants; there was hardly anything leftover. Definitely this dish was the star of the night.

        I didn’t want to risk making a mess on our stove, so we grilled the eggplants on the barbecue in the hopes of still getting the smoky effect you described. It’s hard to tell without an oven-roasted version to compare, but the dish is very flavourful, so I’m quite happy with it. I don’t know if it was because of how I cut the slits in the eggplant, or because it was cooked on the barbecue, or something else, but my skin was largely intact when it came time to peel it off – it wasn’t like a pinecone as in your pictures – so I think that made it a bit harder to peel because the flesh kept coming with the skin in some places. No worries since the eggplant is meant to be mashed in the end!

        Anyway, everyone loved it and was very impressed. The spicing was well-enjoyed. Thank you for the recipe!

  17. 4 stars
    This worked out just ok.
    A suggestion is to increase proportion of spices.
    Add turmeric, garam masala and add lime. That will bring up the flavor profile and make more of a five star dish.

    1. spices are a personal preference. This is a punjabi baingan bharta recipe and a lot of punjabis (including my mother-in-law) make it this way- with less spice. The main flavor of the dish comes from the roasted eggplant, they don’t want spices to overpower that flavor and hence make it this way. Of course if you want more, add more spice.

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