Easy Indian eggplant recipe coming your way today – smokey eggplant cooked with tomatoes, onions, ginger, and spices. Perfect comfort food for a weeknight.
If there is anything I learned in the last couple of years is that my inner world and my own happiness are very much defined by me. While there are so many things out there that I can’t control, there are also hundreds of things I can. Those things can dramatically improve your life no matter what circumstances you might find yourself in.
One of the things we have control over is our diet. You and only you are responsible for the way you fuel your body which most definitely defines the way you feel. Are you energized and full of life or is your brain foggy and you can’t get out of bed in the morning? As we all know, vegetables are great for our bodies and this is why I am sharing this recipe with you – Baingan Bhartha!
Why to make this recipe:
- Packed with vegetables, herbs, and spice. It is a great way to boost your immune system.
- Easy to make. It takes approximately 30 minutes from start to finish.
- Is naturally gluten-free.
- Is delicious, as your meals should be.
- Can be prepared in advance.
- Can be enjoyed on its own with some roti bread or over fluffy basmati rice.
If you don’t know how to cook perfect basmati rice, this post is for you.
Fun facts about eggplant (or aubergine)
The hero ingredient of my Easy Baingan Bharta is of course…. the eggplant! Or aubergine as you might call it. Eggplant (aubergine) is a member of the nightshade family which also includes potatoes and tobacco!! And while we all consider it to be a vegetable, it is actually a fruit or even more precisely a berry. But fruit or vegetable, eggplant plays a leading role in many cuisines all over the world and it is definitely a staple in India’s kitchen and likely has been for over 5,000 years.
Some people say that Baingan Bharta is the crown prince of eggplant dishes. And it is not hard to see why. This dish is silky in consistency, smoky, and full of great flavors. It is super easy to make and can be enjoyed warm or cold, as a main or as a side dish. It also can be served as a dip with some fresh roti or pita bread. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as we did. Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe 🙂
How to roast eggplant on the stove
Using a metal skewer, pierce the eggplant through as shown in the photo.
Roast the eggplant on a low gas flame until the eggplant is charred on all sides. Please be careful not to burn yourself.
Set aside to cool down a little.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and the ginger.
Now your eggplant should be cool enough to be peeled and cut. I hold the skewer in my left hand and peel the eggplant with a knife.
Cut the eggplant into bite-size pieces or mash it with a fork.
How to roast eggplant in the oven
If you don’t feel comfortable roasting the eggplant on the stove, you can roast it in the oven instead. It will take a little longer to cook through, but you might find this option a little easier. You still get all the smokey flavour:
- Preheat your oven’s broiler to high, approximately 500’F/280’C
- Wash and dry the eggplant.
- Poke some holes into the eggplant, using a sharp knife. This step is very important as the eggplant might explode while cooking if you do not poke it.
- Place the eggplant on the oven rack and cook under the broiler for 15 minutes.
- Take the tray out, turn the eggplant around, using tongs and cook it for another 15 minutes.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, it will be soft. You can poke it with a sharp knife, the knife should go through the eggplant very easily.
- Set aside to cool before handling it.
How to cook the Baingan Ka Bharta
1 In a wok or heavy-based frying pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. Cook them quickly until seeds start to pop and are fragrant.
2. Add the chopped onion and ginger to the frying pan and fry it stirring frequently until the onions are nice and golden. Make sure not to burn them.
3. Add the roasted eggplant and fry all ingredients together for 1 minute.
4. Stir in the tomatoes and some water (1/4 of the tomato tin), stir to combine.
5. Cover the frying pan and lower the heat to very low. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve immediately or later when it has cooled off. Sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves before serving and enjoy!
How to store the leftovers?
If you have any leftovers or are cooking the recipe in advance, simply refrigerate the Baingan Bharta in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven or in a frying pan until heated through and enjoy!
You can also freeze the Baingan Bharta in an air-tight container for up to 2 months. Defrost it naturally overnight in the fridge and reheat it in the oven or frying pan before serving.
Q and As
Unfortunately not. Ground ginger has a totally different taste. You can use fresh ginger paste.
Yes, you can, see how to roast eggplant in the oven in the section above.
Yes, this roasted eggplant is very healthy. It is packed with herbs and spices and will be especially beneficial for your immune system. This recipe also uses only a small amount of oil, so it is a much better option than your local takeaway.
More ways to use the roasted eggplant
As I mentioned before this dish is very versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways. The most traditional is of course to serve it with fresh roti bread, but you could also try:
- Serve it with freshly cooked noodles. It makes a delicious pasta dish.
- Have some leftovers in the fridge? Spread the Baingan Bharta over the crusty, bread, sprinkle some fresh cilantro leaves on top. Yum!
- Combine everything together in the food processor for a couple of seconds to make a delicious dip. Serve with some gluten-free crackers.