Vegetarian Concoctions

January 17, 2008

Baingan Bharta

Filed under: Brinjal (Eggplant), Main meals, Punjabi — Hema @ 12:04 pm

Today I keep two promises. One that I made to myself at the start of this new year, that I will not ignore my blog any more and will try to post something at least once or twice a month. The other I had promised my friends that I would narrate my story one day.

A tale that begins in my home back in India, where the kitchen was my mom’s territory that I occasionally visited when my stomach growled. The kitchen counter being my favorite place to sit while amma cooked tirelessly for her ever hungry family(read kids). I helped her in quality control – tasting for salt and spice. Actually, I was not even good at that. I knew something was missing, but could never figure out what. I never even bothered to look at the ingredients that went into her pots and pans.

By the time I finished college, the only commendable jobs I could perform in the kitchen were making dosais (this does not include making the batter) and perfectly round chappatis/phulkas that would puff up almost every time (and this does not include preparing the dough). I could not make tea or even cook rice to save my life. I learnt basic survival subjis, curries and dals just before I left home and moved all the way across the globe.

When I landed in the US and met my roommates, I figured I was definitely in between both N and S who couldn’t light a match and J who could cook sambhar and rasam without looking at cookbooks and recreate dishes from any printed recipe without hesitation. N and S gave me a superiority complex for the first time in my life. Our cooking turns inspired me to look for recipes everywhere and come up with something new every week. The phone of course, was my lifeline. I don’t remember the number of calls I must have made to ask Amma ‘what dal goes into kootu’ or ‘moong dal? Is that the little yellow one or the little red one?. Amma was getting used to receiving SOS calls at 3 or 4 in the morning IST. One such call was for the recipe for baingan bharta.

It was such a big hit, and the one that elevated me to the category of being a good cook who could make exotic dishes*, and that accolade was not given to J yet! She was a wonderful cook, but made only south Indian food. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine and all pumped up for my next cooking turn which almost cost me my newly acquired title. That story comes up next time, but for now, I present to you my recipe of success.

*Any two word North indian dish is exotic for a South Indian. Any dish that both tastes and sounds close to a restaurant menu is exotic for a bunch of poor students. Anything edible is exotic if you are a bad cook/do not cook. Take your pick!


Baingan (Eggplant) – 1 large

White Onions – 2 medium (chopped lengthwise)

Tomatoes – 4 medium (chopped)

Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves (optional)

Green chillies – 3 or according to spice level

Ginger – 1 cm x 1 cm piece grated

Red chilli pwd – 1 tsp

Jeera pwd – 1 tbsp

Cumin (Jeera) – 2 tsp

Garam masala (optional) – 1 tsp

Turmeric – ¼ tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Cilantro to garnish

Rub some oil on the Baingan and roast it directly on the fire until the skin chars and the flesh is completely cooked. This works best when you have a gas stove. It also works if you have the electric coil. For those with smooth tops, like me, open the oven and broil it on high. Keep checking and turning when required. Once cooked, place it in a cold water bath and peel the skins off. It should come off easily. Now, just run your knife over the baingan randomly and cut it into small bits.

Heat up the oil and add the jeera. Add the ginger and chillies. Then add the onions and garlic. Once the onions are transluscent, add tomatoes. After the tomatoes are cooked, add the jeera, chilli, turmeric and garam masala pwds. Add the chopped baingan and required salt. Let it cook together for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with cilantro and serve with hot phulkas! YUM!



  1. This one is our favorite, but due to the really long time it takes me to grill brinjals in my oven, I don’t get to make it as often as I’d like to:(

    yours looks great!

    Comment by Mansi — January 17, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

  2. my hubby’s fav….he’s the one who taught me to make this bharta….yours looks fab!!!

    Comment by remya.sash — January 17, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  3. Hema, nice to discover your blog…Love to try you veg receipes.

    Comment by Rina — January 17, 2008 @ 3:13 pm

  4. the pic looks so nice!

    Comment by Rajitha — January 17, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  5. Awesome one …Excellent pic ..I love Baingan and that too bharta …awesome

    Comment by Deepa — January 17, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  6. About time the girl showed up here!!:D
    Good to see you, I have been taking it easy too, feels great to read books at last, read 3 books already since I took time off blogging!:)
    Any Baingan dish I love!! Looks great. I still prefer south Indian pachadi though!
    Enjoy your weekend, hugs sis!:)

    Comment by Asha — January 18, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  7. @Manasi
    It doesnt take as long if you broil them in the oven. Max 7-8 mts. Try it sometime.

    Here it is my fav and the only way I can get H to eat brijal.

    Thanks for stopping by

    @Rajitha, Deepa

    You made my day! I came by your space and saw that you have disabled comments. Was going to send you an email. Enjoy your books! It has been ages since I read one too. Waiting for the little one to grow up some more.

    Comment by Hema — January 18, 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  8. […] We have all had this dish at some time. Some of us even know how to prepare it. Some of us would like to but find it rather daunting. If you are in the second category, then Hema would have you know it’s really not that difficult to make baingan ka bharta. […]

    Pingback by Baingan bharta | DesiPundit — January 20, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  9. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for posting this recipe, Hema!

    Comment by Vedavalli — January 20, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

  10. lovely pic of the bharta! interesting read of you culinary journey!

    Comment by rachel — January 21, 2008 @ 12:08 am

  11. Wow I’m SO glad you’re updating your food blog again. My mother LOVES your blog, and her favourite recipe is your yelai vada… she’s made it so many times for us (my sister, me and my bro)! 🙂 Hope to see lots more recipes from you now!

    Comment by shyam — January 21, 2008 @ 1:49 pm

  12. Welcome back!

    Comment by Shankari — January 21, 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  13. looks deleciousssss hema

    Comment by sagari — January 23, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  14. Hi,

    You mentioned holding the eggplant directly to the fire … do you suggest using a metal tong? The thing I’m concerned about is, if it takes too long for the baingan to get cooked, then the tong may become very hot … How long does it take for the baingan to get cooked?

    Comment by Nerus — January 27, 2008 @ 12:01 am

  15. lovely pic! Its making me hungry right now…

    Comment by Ramya — January 27, 2008 @ 12:15 am

  16. fantastic pile of good stuff! You have a very nice blog there.

    Comment by Zlamushka — February 23, 2008 @ 2:12 pm

  17. @nerus
    You can keep the eggplant on the fire and let it cook on one side for 3-4 minutes. Turn around with tongs and repeat as required. If the eggplant does not have a good support, you could lay it on a mesh that can sit on the stove.

    Comment by Hema — February 25, 2008 @ 11:42 am

  18. God! This sounds yumm!!! I am going to try this!

    Comment by Ms Taggart — May 22, 2008 @ 5:03 am

  19. […] So many different versions of the recipe, not including all the various spellings: BAINGAN BHARTA Baingan Bharta Vegetarian Concoctions holy cow!: Baingan Bharta with Whole-Wheat Naan Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry) – Allrecipes […]

    Pingback by Calling all vegetarians!!! - AuthenticForum — September 22, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

  20. yummy and mouthwatering recipe. Beautiful picture.

    Comment by gowri — October 15, 2008 @ 1:01 am

  21. Looks great!

    Comment by Healthy Vegan Diet Fast Food Eating Out Menu — October 20, 2008 @ 2:58 pm

  22. Nice recipe. i read in other places to add yogurt, i am a bit confused if i should or not as you have not included it. Please let me know if i need to add yogurt, or what difference does it make to add or not add yogurt?

    Comment by Madhu — October 30, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  23. […] Eggplant curry (baingan bharta) Makes approximately 4 servings. Adapted from Serious Eats, who adapted it from Vegetarian Concoctions. […]

    Pingback by Eggplant curry (baingan bharta) « The Brûlée Blog — February 21, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  24. […] and Goat Cheese spirals using homemade goat cheeseSichuan Eggplant (here’s one)Baingan Bartha (here’s one)Baingan KachriBaba Ghanoush (here’s one) (and more)Mark Bittman’s Microwaved Honey-Sweetened […]

    Pingback by eggplant curriculum « seoul, spirit — September 27, 2009 @ 2:39 am

  25. Greetings! Looks it is very tasty, I love all new it is necessary to prepare for houses.

    Comment by Recipe — October 3, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

  26. Looks really taste. I’ll wipe the slobber from my keyboard now and will try it as soon as I can buy the ingrediencies. 🙂

    Comment by Jarda — October 22, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  27. […] Vegetarian Concoctions […]

    Pingback by Baingan Bharta - Cooking YOUR Food — May 31, 2010 @ 6:22 am

  28. Your presentation of the recipe is simple and easy. Measurements provided in ingredients is perfect. I tried it and works great.

    Comment by Brinjal Curry — October 7, 2012 @ 8:53 am

  29. Wow, this post is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these
    kinds of things, so I am going to inform her.

    Comment by Ativan — May 17, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  30. Oyalo brings you a delicious range of 100% veg pizzas. We make our own cheese and pizza spread, order your favorite pizzas online Pizzeria, Restaurant near me.

    Comment by ajay — June 24, 2021 @ 1:54 am

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