Baingan Bharta is a popular Indian Eggplant Curry recipe, also known as Chokha, made with smoky roasted eggplants and tempered with onions, tomatoes, and spices. Baingan Bharat, also popular as roasted eggplant curry or Indian eggplant curry, is commonly served with roti (chapati - Indian flatbread) and dal (lentil soup). Presented here is an authentic ‘Baingan Bharta’ recipe enhanced by the addition of fire-roasted red bell peppers for more sweet and tangy flavors.
Authentic Baingan Bharta or Chokha Recipe
The authentic central Indian version of this recipe is called ‘Baingan 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 Bharta (Indian Eggplant Curry) is more popular in urban society, this recipe is an enhanced version of the same.
King of Vegetables - Baingan (Eggplant)
Eggplant, also known as 'King of Vegetables' in southern Asia, is a popular vegetable 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 a similar process of roasting the eggplant and then mixing it with other ingredients.
Enhancements to Baingan Bharta or Chokha Recipe
Authentic Baingan Bharta recipe has been enhanced here by the 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 a good source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E. Together these vitamins, keep your immune system healthy and promote healthy and beautiful skin. 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.
Baingan Bharta - Chokha - Indian Eggplant Curry
- ¼ teaspoon Asafetida Hing - 1 generous pinch (Skip for Gluten-free version)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 2 teaspoon Fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon Red chili powder ½ to 1 teaspoon per taste
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt As per taste
- 1 tablespoon Mustard Oil mustard oil preferred
- 15 g Cilantro Handful chopped
- 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 500 F 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.