About this dish
This Punjabi style Baingan ka Bharta is a popular North Indian dish and one of my favourite aubergine dishes. Traditionally made with aubergines that are fire-roasted aubergines that are then tossed in a tomato-onion masala. Unlike many other North Indian dishes, this dish isn't too spice heavy and really lets the flavour of the aubergines shine. It doesn't use too many ingredients and can be put together rather quickly.
The fire-roasting adds a wonderful smokey charred flavour to the aubergines, but if you don't have a gas stove, you can also roast the aubergines in an oven. If you're extra lazy then you can buy a jar of pre-roasted aubergines that's commonly available at most Turkish stores. These do tend to have some citric acid added and result in a version of this dish which is a little on the sour side, so if you can, do go the extra mile and roast your aubergines.
It's best when paired with some kind of Indian bread like rotis or paranthas. We like to serve it with a side of fresh yoghurt and some sliced salad vegetables like cucumbers and radish.
- 1 tbsp mustard oil + more for brushing
- 800g or 2 large aubergines or eggplants
- 200g or 2 medium onions
- 200g or 2-3 tomatoes
- 20g ginger
- 18g or 4 cloves garlic
- 2 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1.5 tsp salt or to taste
- 12-15 coriander sprigs
- Oil the surface of the aubergines and pierce holes in the flesh with a knife to let the steam escape.
- Roast the whole aubergines on an open flame till they are completely charred on the outside and completely soft on the inside. They will lose their shape and collapse, that's how you know they are ready.
If roasting in the oven, bake the oiled and pierced aubergines on a lined baking tray at 200°C for 20 minutes or till completely soft.
Then set aside to cool. In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients.
- Peel and finely chop ginger and garlic. Slice the green chillies. Finely dice the onions and chop the tomatoes in rough cubes. Roughly chop the coriander leaves.
- Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, separate their pulp from the skin. If you char the aubergines, the skin will be crisp and easy to peel off. If you roast them in the oven, then you can split the aubergine open and scrape off the pulp with a spoon. Roughly mash or chop the pulp to break up the stringy fibers and set aside. Now we are ready to cook!
- Add your cooking oil to a hot pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped ginger and garlic and let it brown.
- After aromatics have flavoured the oil and start to brown, add the onions and green chillies. Once the onions soften, add the turmeric and kashmiri chilli powder.
- Slightly roast the spices for a few seconds till aromatic and then add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Roast this masala mixture till the tomatoes are no longer juicy and you can see the oil releasing from the sides of the pan. This should take 5-10 minutes of cooking without a lid.
- Once the masala is well roasted, add the roasted aubergine pulp and mix well. Then add in the coriander leaves. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve.
Enjoy with rotis or with some ajwain paranthas and a side of fresh yoghurt and salad.