Punjabi Eggplant (Baingan Bharta)

Punjabi Eggplant (Baingan Bharta)

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
273 Calories
10g Fat
47g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 433mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 13g 45%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 27mg 134%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 890mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Punjabi baingan ka bharta is just one of several versions of eggplant bharta in Indian cooking. The word bharta (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared.

Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables. This version of baingan ka bharta is also really easy to make and requires roasting an eggplant and then cooking it with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and lots of aromatic spices, such as cumin and coriander. The recipe calls for garlic paste, which is easy enough to make yourself, or you can often find in the produce section, in jars or tubes. Serve it with hot chapatis and your favorite daal dish.

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Click Play to See This Punjabi Style Eggplant Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggplants

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or finely chopped garlic

  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated

  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 2 green chiles, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Punjabi Eggplant (Baingan Bharta) ingredients

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  2. Punjabi baingan ka bharta requires roasted eggplant. Roast eggplant on a gas cooktop by placing the eggplants straight over the burner(s) and keeping the flame on low setting. Keep turning and cooking until all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft, about 20 minutes; the eggplant will seem to 'cave in' on itself. Or, you can grill the eggplant in your oven broiler or on your barbecue grill. Again, keep turning periodically until all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Punjabi eggplant roasted on a cooktop over gas

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Once the eggplant is roasted, allow to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin.

    Punjabi eggplant roasted and peeled

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Once cool, coarsely mash it and keep aside for later use.

    Coarsely mashed roasted eggplant in a bowl

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Place pan over medium heat and add the cooking oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.

    Cumin seeds becoming aromatic in oil in a skillet

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  6. Add the onions and fry until soft and translucent.

    Onions and cumin seed in skillet

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  7. Add the garlic and the ginger and then fry for 1 minute.

    Garlic and ginger added to onion and cumin in a skillet

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  8. Add the tomatoes, optional green chiles, coriander, ground cumin, and garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.

    Punjabi eggplant with onions, garlic, ginger, spices in a skillet

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  9. Add the eggplant and salt and mix well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) and stir. Cook another minute and turn off the heat. Serve hot with chapatis or rice and your favorite daal dish.

    Punjabi Eggplant (Baingan Bharta) in a skillet

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

  • One variation involves only cooking the eggplant and adding the ingredients to the mashed eggplant. Then add 1 large finely chopped onion, 1 large finely chopped tomato, 7 to 8 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves, 2 tablespoons mustard oil, salt to taste, and the juice of half of a lime. Serve as with the cooked version.
  • For a spicier dish, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red chili powder.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds to the oil along with the cumin seeds.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover baingan bharta in a covered container for up to 3 days.
  • If you plan to freeze the eggplant dish, leave out the fresh cilantro. Transfer the baingan bharta to airtight containers or a zip-close bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop until the dish is hot (at least 165 F). Add the chopped cilantro just before serving.

What Does Baingan Mean?

Baingan is the Hindi for eggplant/aubergine, which is native to the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia.

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