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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Serve baingan bharta immediately with hot rotis!
If you’ve tried this Baingan Bharta Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see what’s latest in my kitchen!
This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2014.
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
- 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!
170 thoughts on “Baingan Bharta – Roasted Eggplant Mash”
i have eaten a few variations and none of them had peas
This recipe looks great! I can’t wait to try it next week 🙂 I like to meal prep- would this be a good recipe reheated? Or should I plan to make it a one-and-done weekend experiment?
it reheats just fine. Best when consumed within 3 days of making it.
As far as I remember and have tried in different Indian restaurants, green pea is an inseparable ingredient of Bharta. I don’t know what makes you think you can eliminate that! Let’s make some Pakora without vegetables! Or perhaps we won’t need any flour! Lest try that!
Hi Farzan, I don’t know why are you questioning how authentic this recipe is. I was born in India, grew up in Delhi. Married to a Punjabi, so I would like to believe I know how a baingan bharta is made 🙂 My mother in law (a Punjabi of course) is a fantastic cook and doesn’t add green peas in her bharta. She lives in Delhi. Adding things or not varies so much from household to household.
India is such a big country, so how can any dish be made in exact same way in every house? 🙂 Everyone has their own way or style of making a recipe. If you want peas, please add peas but this is definitely an authentic recipe. Thanks
A lovely recipe. Thank you for posting it. There are so many varieties, just like in Polish cuisine!
Hi, Manali, I think this is a good opportunity to thank you for the many lovely meals we’ve had in our home, thanks to you and your recipes. In future, I hope you won’t bother to reply to, or even post, comments from people who can’t express themselves in a polite and respectful manner. Evidently, some readers do not realize that they can add peas to a dish if they choose to do so, even when your recipe doesn’t call for it — and that’s fine, if they feel they need permission to add peas, they can write and get it. But snarkiness should be right off the menu. You’re recipes are great and you should feel nothing but good about what you do.
Because someone has tried a food at several restaurants make them an authority on whats authentic? – I think not.
Sushi/Japanese food is a great example…Italian food also comes to mind. Many of these restaurants outside of their native country are NOT authentic cuisine and cater to customer preference.
I had a conversation with an owner of an Indian restaurant that opened in a nearby college town. I asked him why his recipes seemed to change since I first visited (which was great!) He said people were complaining that the food wasn’t spicy enough. Some of the entrees were noticeably spicier and I like spicy food. It just wasn’t as enjoyable.
I had never heard of this recipe ,my wife had it in our local Indian restaurant and was so impressed with the rich flavours that I had to try and replicate it , just made it this morning following the exact recipe and it tastes wonderful !!, I have just tweeked it as we want a main course with meat so added some cooked lamb- left over from yesterday and a small portion of curry gravy which I have in the freezer ,there is now enough liquid to make a great consistency sauce which we will have this evening with rice and naan bread
Baingan bhurta..meets ..Moussaka.. 😀 👍
Nice recipe! For European version i add milk and heavy cream. Awesome food… And indian cumin with onion in beginning.
Wow, so delicious! I added roasted peanut powder, and it turned out excellent recipe. Thank you for this.