Baingan Bartha is an Indian style broiled and mashed eggplant curry. In this post, I ll share how to make a smoky Baingan bartha on stovetop.
What is Baingan Bartha?
Bartha in Hindi means mashed. So Baingan Bartha means a mashed eggplant curry. This is a typical winter delicacy. During winters, the fat aubergines flood the markets. It really is impossible to pass up an opportunity to make some Baingan Bartha, with all the fresh purple beauties staring at us.
Eggplants for Baingan Bartha
Normally, Baingan Bartha calls for the largish fat eggplants. When choosing eggplants for this recipe, buy tender eggplants that feel soft at the fatter end. Also, avoid bruised eggplants or those that have holes in them. Holes in eggplants mean worms inside.
How to roast eggplants for Bartha in the oven?
The first step in this recipe involves roasting the eggplants. I am sharing the stove top method here today. But you can also do this part in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 200 C. To roast the eggplants in the oven, wash and pat dry the eggplants. Make slits on the eggplant using a knife. Now, insert garlic cloves inside the slits. Smear oil on the eggplant. Now, place the eggplants in the preheated oven and roast it for 40 mins or until the eggplants are fully cooked and soft. Turn the eggplants once or twice midway during this process to ensure even cooking.
How to roast eggplants for Bartha in the Air fryer?
Line the air fryer’s basket with aluminum foil and grease it with ½ tsp oil. Now, place the prepped eggplants inside the basket and cook at 200C for 30 mins or until the eggplants are soft and cooked. Turn the eggplants once or twice midway during this process to ensure even cooking.
- Adding the garlic cloves while roasting the eggplants gives an amazing flavor. So I highly recommend this.
- I love adding finely chopped green chili to my Bartha. Again, the flavor of green chili makes this dish a rustic delicacy.
- If you cannot source the large eggplants, you can make this with small purple eggplants too. Wash the eggplants well and pat dry. Remove the stalks and quarter them. Combine 400g chopped eggplants, 6 cloves crushed and peeled garlic and 1.5 c water in a pressure cooker. Add salt to taste. Cook for 3 whistles. Let pressure release naturally. Now, open the lid, mash the eggplants and proceed with recipe.
Roasting the Baingan on flame
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Make deep slits with a knife on the eggplants. Insert a clove of crushed garlic in each slit. Smear 1 tbsp oil on the eggplant and place it on a grilling rack over the flame. Roast the eggplant till soft and cooked. Make sure to turn the eggplants a few times while roasting to ensure even cooking.
You can check if the eggplants are cooked by inserting a skewer inside. If the skewer slides in smoothly without you having to use pressure or force, the eggplants are done.
Mashing the eggplants
Now, wash the eggplants under cold running water. As soon as you do this, you can see that the skin easily comes off. Discard the charred skin. Mash the roasted eggplants well using a potato masher and set aside.
Making Baingan Barta
Heat a pan with oil. Crackle the cumin seeds and add the ginger, green chili and garlic. Wait till garlic begins to brown and add the finely chopped onions and bell peppers. Mix well. We are going to cook this mixture till the onions become pink and soft.
Once they are done, add all the spice powders and mix well. Saute this for 20 to 30 secs on low flame. When done, add the tomatoes and salt. Mix well and cook till tomatoes turn mushy.
Add the mashed eggplants to the pan and mix well, making sure that its well incorporated.
Continue to cook this mixture on medium flame for about 3 to 4 mins. When done, garnish with coriander leaves.
Mix well and serve hot.
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Explore more eggplant recipes
- Frying Pan
For roasting the eggplant
- 400 g Big round eggplants
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 2 tsp Oil
For Baingan Bartha
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Grated ginger
- 1 tsp Grated garlic
- 1 tsp Minced green chili
- ¾ c Finely chopped onions
- 1.5 tsp Salt or to taste
- ¼ c Finely chopped bell peppers
- 1.5 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1.5 tsp Coriander powder
- ¾ tsp Garam masala
- ¾ tsp Turmeric powder
- ¾ c Finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 recipe Mashed eggplants
- 1 tbsp Finely chopped coriander leaves
Roasting the eggplants
- Wash and pat dry the eggplants.
- Make deep slits on the eggplants and insert garlic cloves.
- Smear oil on the eggplants.
- Now, place this on fire and roast till the eggplants turn soft and cooked. This takes roughly 15 to 20 mins.
- Make sure you turn the eggplants in between while they are being roasted.
- When done, wash the roasted eggplants in water. Discard the charred skin.
- Mash the roasted eggplants and garlic together well. Set aside
Making baingan bartha
- Heat a pan with oil.
- Add the cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.
- Now, add the garlic, ginger and green chili. Saute for 10 to 20 secs.
- Immediately, add the onions and bell peppers and mix well.
- Cook till the onions turn pink and soft.
- Now, add salt and spice powders. Mix well and saute for 30 secs on low flame.
- At this point, add chopped tomatoes and mix well.
- Cook the tomatoes till they turn mushy.
- When done, add the mashed eggplants and mix well.
- Simmer for 3 to 4 mins on medium flame.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot.