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”
Manali, Thank you so much for another super delicious, flavor packed recipe.
Just finish cooking it as I write. Love it. ♥️
Im currently missing my gas flame ( stuck with electric) but i found a liberal dose of smoked paprika was helpful.. a delicious dish
Tried this out making veganized, came out great, thx ! 🥶
glad you liked it but this recipe is vegan as is 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe. Delicious! I made it today for the family of a friend who had a stroke. It is such a winner. I don’t have a gas stove, so roasted my sliced eggplant in the oven I also prefer chunky, so I didn’t mash or peel the eggplantt, just cut it up), and added curry leaves, my very favorite spice.
welcome! glad you enjoyed!
Fantastic. I had small Indian eggplants from a friend’s garden. I put a metal grate over a low flame on my gas stove and slow roasted them for 15 minutes. After years of not getting bharta right, this recipe hits beautifully. Thanks Manali.
Delicious! The onions were still slightly hard, but I think I cut the pieces too big. I roasted the eggplant in my oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees F, and that worked very well.
What kind of eggplant are you using in your recipe? I use the Chinese eggplant.
purple eggplant or Italian eggplant
Absolutely delicious. Received eggplant from our neighbors garden, I love the taste but first time to cook eggplant. Enjoyed this as my first recipe. Thank you. Will make again!
Worked perfectly. Personally I couldn’t even eat it, I guess fire roasted eggplant isn’t for me but my partner was thrilled. He said it was exactly how Bharta should taste and sent a photo to his mum. So thanks for earning me some brownie points! 🙂
haha glad he liked it! Thanks for the feedback!
Hey Manali! I’ve been making this recipe for a while now, and we LOVE it, thank you.
This time I roasted the eggplant wrapped in foil in the air fryer, and it was a little trial and error, but ended up doing ~15min at 350 and then 25min at 400. Eggplant was still a little tough so going forward, will try 40min at 400.
Welcome Sonam, thanks for sharing your experience of roasting it in the air fryer.
Hi, have you tried roasting the eggplant in the air fryer without the foil? I use my oven preheated to 230 Celsius (very hot) for 30 mins.
I also substituted the green chilli for 1/2 tsp garam masala. Yum!