Baingan ka Bhartha is an authentic Indian recipe made with smoky roasted eggplants and tempered with onions, tomatoes and spices. However, not everybody know that authentic central Indian version of this recipe is called ‘Baigan ka Chokha’, wherein eggplant and all ingredient are roasted together in dried cow dung cakes and then smashed with spices and oil without tempering. Since the Baingan ka Bhartha is more popular in urban society, this recipe is an enhanced version of the same.
Eggplant, also known as ‘King of Vegetables’ in southern Asia, is a popular vegetables used in all cuisines as it makes a tasty substitute for meat. Commonly known examples are eggplant parmesan (Italian), spicy eggplant tofu stir-fry (Asian), Thai eggplant curry, Mexican eggplant casserole, baba ganoush (Middle-East), baklazhannaia ikra (Russian & Ukraine), caponata (Sicilian). Some of these recipes have similar process of roasting the eggplant and then mixing it with other ingredients. Eggplant is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and Dietary Fiber.
Authentic ‘Baigan ka Bhartha’ recipe has been enhanced here by addition of fire roasted red bell peppers to give it more sweet and tangy flavors; at the same time include the goodness of nutrients from red bell peppers. Red bell peppers are low in calories and good source of vitamins A, B6, C and E. Together these vitamins, keep you immune system healthy, and promote healthy and beautiful skin.
- Italian eggplant – 2 big size pieces roasted and peeled
- Red bell pepper – 1 fired roasted and peeled
- Tomatoes – 4 roma tomatoes diced
- Onions – 1 medium size diced
- Ginger – 1 inch piece diced
- Green chilies – 3 to 4 cut
- Asafetida (hing) – 1 generous pinch (Skip for Gluten-free version)
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Fennel seeds – 2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp per taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – as per taste
- Oil (mustard oil preferred) – 1 tbs
- Cilantro – handful chopped
Above list of ingredients will yield 6 servings.
- Roast Italian eggplant – Cut into four pieces and oil the outer skin. Arrange then in an oven safe tray with skin facing upwards. Broil at 500oF or high until outer skin is charred. For smoky flavors grilling is prefered to be more authentic.
- Roast bell pepper – Oil the outer skin and put it on oven safe tray. Broil at 500oF or high until outer skin is charred. Keep turning for even charring.
- Heat oil in a pan/kadai/wok.
- Add asafetida (hing) and cumin seeds. Wait till they start splattering.
- Add green chilies, ginger and onions.
- Let the onions cook until they are slightly translucent.
- Add tomatoes and continue to cook.
- Then add roasted eggplant and red bell pepper.
- Lastly, add all the remaining spices.
- Keep cooking and mixing. While mixing keep mashing it also. When fully cooked, dish should have uniform consistency with no liquid pooling.
- Transfer it into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
If you try this recipe, please let us know your feedback.