Baingan Bharta means literally eggplant mashed, it is an Indian dish of creamy smokey roasted eggplant and tomatoes. This is one of our favorite Indian dishes that we frequently enjoy when eating out. I have always had difficulty reproducing it at home but now that I’ve figured it out I want to share it with you too!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 1-2 green chilies (reduce if you do not like hot food)
- 1 inch piece of ginger minced
- 2 onions chopped
- 4 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 whole cloves (optional)
- about 3 medium eggplant
- 1 grate of nutmeg (optional)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- butter or additional oil (optional)
- Poke eggplant with a fork about 12 times each all over. This will prevent the eggplants from popping open.
- If you have a gas range, roast the eggplants over the open flame of the range at medium-high heat turning occasionally for about 20 minutes or so. The skin of the eggplant will char all over. This gives the eggplant a smokey flavor. Alternatively roast in the oven about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Let the eggplants cool, then you should be able to easily peel the skin with your fingers. Discard the skin. Chop the eggplant into cubes. Note: if any part of the eggplant is still hard or white this means it was not cooked all the way through. That is OK, just set the hard/white parts aside we will cook those longer.
- In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, chillis, and ginger. Saute about 1-2 minutes or until the raw smell of garlic/ginger goes away.
- Add the tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, coriander, salt, and cloves. Cover and allow to cook, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft and mushy.
- Add the eggplant, if you have any hard white eggplant pieces you can add those first and cook additional time until they soften. Otherwise you will cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- At this point you can either mash with a potato masher or I like to use an immersion blender to blend up most of the mix.
- I like to finish the dish with just one grate across a micro-plane of nutmeg. I also enjoy adding heavy cream and butter to the dish at the end; however, this is optional as it simply gives it a richer more restaurant style taste. You can omit if you are avoiding these items or if you are vegan.
- Serve with basmati rice and flat breads.