Baingan Bharta

Baingan bharta is an easy, smoky, lightly spiced Indian mashed eggplant dish. It can be made oven-roasted,air fried, or cooked over an open fire and will definitely become part of your dinner rotation.

Baingan bharta in a pan with chopped cilantro.

Baingan ka bharta is an easy, smoky, lightly spiced Indian mashed eggplant dish. It can be made oven-roasted, air fried, or cooked over an open fire and will definitely become part of your dinner rotation.

One of my favorite ways is oven roasted as it’s hands-off, doesn’t compromise on flavor, and doesn’t create a ton of smoke in the house.

It is one of those recipes that will convert eggplant haters into eggplant lovers! Well, at least they’ll eat it in this dish 🙂 

In English, baingan means eggplant. Bharta means mashed. This dish is naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

Oven roasted baingan bharta in a pan.

This spiced, Indian eggplant recipe has smokey eggplant and roasted garlic, giving you a two-punch of smoky flavor.  Then, layered with minimal spices and cooked it transforms into a meld of flavors that will have you coming back for more!

It’s a popular Indian dish for good reason!

This baingan bharta recipe is

Simple with easy-to-find ingredients | No fancy ingredients needed! Big flavor with simple ingredients.

Easy with minimal active time | Ready in under 30 minutes of active time – if you use the oven-roasted method!

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free | Suitable for all diet types

Eggplants and garlic.

Options To Roast Eggplant

Note, traditionally baingan bharta is made by cooking the whole eggplant over an open flame. But you have a few options for cooking methods:

  1. Oven roasted:  My favorite way.  All the smokey flavor, no smoke in the house using the stovetop gas flame 🙂 

This is the primary focus of this post, although I provide all the options.

2. Air fryer: Another easy, hands-off approach.

3. Open flame: Roast outside with your grill or inside if you have a gas burner on a direct flame on medium heat.

All methods are included in this post

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Ingredients for baingan bharta in small bowls and laid on a marble top.

Eggplants: Get medium-large-sized eggplants so you get more eggplant flesh.  Avoid using skinny long eggplants. 

Tomatoes: These are used to create a tang and add to the flavor.

Onion: I like using red onions because of their flavor, but white onions are traditionally used.  Use what you have on hand.

Garlic:  Smokey garlic cloves add a depth of flavor that is irreplaceable.

Green chilies: Provides a layer of heat.  If you don’t like too much spice you can remove the seeds. 

Powdered Indian spices: Turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt are used.

For added smokey flavor, use smoked paprika if you have it on hand.  Shh, that’s a secret!

Indian spices in small, gray plates and a red onion.

Tadka:  Tadka is the tempering of oil.  I use mustard seeds to infuse the oil with flavor. This dish is cooked often with mustard oil, and this is an easy way to add that flavor without mustard oil as many don’t have that on hand.

Asafetida is added after the mustard seeds have slowed down popping/spluttering.

Optional:  If you’d like you can add ½ teaspoon of cumin coriander powder.  It’s not always used, but my mom likes to add it, so thought I’d share!

Coriander leaves:  Chopped cilantro adds a fresh taste in contrast to the dish.

Chopped ginger, green chilies,

Preparation 

1.Wash eggplants and tomatoes.  Pat dry.

2.Peel garlic cloves.

3.For oven and air fryer: cover a baking tray/sheet with aluminum foil.

4.Get the eggplants roasting in the oven while you chop the tomatoes, cilantro, green chili pepper, and onions.

Roasting the garlic is a simple trick to getting even more smoky, delicious flavor into your dish!

Roasted garlic cloves in a white bowl.

Roasting Eggplants In Oven

Preheat oven to 475F.

Cut 4 long slits in each eggplant approximately evenly spaced from each other.  Don’t cut to the ends.

Eggplant with a slit stuffed with garlic cloves to be roasted.

Place 1-2 two garlic cloves in each slit.  If you have very large cloves cut them in half to make it easier to place in the eggplant.

Brush each eggplant on all sides with oil and place both on a foil-wrapped baking sheet. Place in the oven on the rack closest to the top heat source.

Two eggplants on a foil wrapped baking sheet.

Roast for about 40 minutes.  Halfway through, at the 20-minute mark, use tongs to flip the eggplant over for even cooking. Remove once cooked (should look tender, wrinkly, and soft with charred skin) and let cool.

Once cooled, remove the roasted garlic pieces.  Then, peel the eggplant skin.  I like to keep the head of the eggplant on for a secure place to hold and twist them around for this part.  Once done removing the skin from both, cut off the tops. 

Mash the eggplants and roasted garlic with a potato masher or a fork.  Set aside eggplant mash.

Making Baingan Bharta

No matter which method you choose to roast, air fry, or fire grill the eggplants – the following process is the same to make the eggplant bharta once you have the mashed garlic and eggplant mash ready.

Tadka: Heat oil on medium in a wide bottom pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let crackle for 30-45 seconds. Add asafetida.

Onion + Ginger: Add onions, mix, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add ginger, mix, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Mixing red onions with tadka.

Spices: Mix in salt, red chili powder, and turmeric.

Tomatoes: Add in small chopped tomatoes and give them a good mix. Cook for 1 minute. You aren’t looking to cook them down completely.

Mixed tomatoes, onions, and spices in a pan.

Eggplant + Garlic: Mix in mashed, roasted eggplant and garlic mixture. Cook for 2 minutes.

Green chilies: Add in finely chopped green chilies and cook for 3 more minutes. Turn off the gas.

Green chilies added to pan.

Cilantro: Add in fresh chopped cilantro, mix, and serve.

Pot of roasted, mashed eggplant Indian dish.

Other methods

Gas Stovetop:

To use this method, you’ll need tongs and a wire roasting rack (a roti mesh rack works). Alternatively, you can roast directly on the burner.

Cut 4 long slits in each eggplant approximately evenly spaced from each other.  Don’t cut to the ends.

Place 1-2 two garlic cloves in each slit.  If you have very large cloves cut them in half to make it easier to place in the eggplant.

Brush each eggplant on all sides with oil

First, place the wire rack on the burner.

Then, brush oil on the eggplant and start roasting on medium heat. Flip the eggplant regularly for even roasting.

It should take around 12-14 minutes to roast until soft and charred.

Check if done by inserting a knife or fork into the center without resistance.

Can also be done on an outdoor grill on direct fire.

Baingan bharta cooked in a large pot.

Air Fryer

Cut 4 long slits in each eggplant approximately evenly spaced from each other.  Don’t cut to the ends.

Place 1-2 two garlic cloves in each slit.  If you have very large cloves cut them in half to make it easier to place in the eggplant.

Brush each eggplant on all sides with oil.

Place the eggplant on an air fryer basket and set the temperature to 400 Fahrenheit.

 Air fry for approximately 20-22 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the eggplant appears wrinkled and charred.

Storing

Baingan bharta tastes best when it’s served freshly prepared and hot. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.

You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to a month. Reheat it in a microwave and serve hot.

Baingan bharta with bajra roti.

Serving Suggestions

Serve alongside Indian bread and yogurt.

A popular roti to serve it with is Bajra Ke Roti. Bajra is pearl millet.

Have you tried this easy baingan bharta recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Oven roasted baingan bharta in a pan.

Easy Authentic Baingan Bharta In Oven

Shilpa Joshi
Baingan bharta is an easy, smoky, lightly spiced Indian mashed eggplant dish. It can be made oven-roasted,air fried, or cooked over an open fire and will definitely become part of your dinner rotation.
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 231 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 baking sheet pan
  • 1 knife
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 wide bottom pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 eggplants 1090g, washed and dried with a towel
  • 12 cloves garlic 40g
  • 2 tomatoes 350g
  • 1 onion 230g
  • inch ginger 15g
  • 2 green chilies
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida
  • 4 tablespoons oil canola or avocado or neutral oil
  • 4-5 stalks cilantro

Instructions
 

Roasting Eggplants In Oven

  • Preheat oven to 475F.
  • Cut 4 long slits in each eggplant approximately evenly spaced from each other. Don't cut to the ends. (see post for pictures).
  • Place 1-2 two garlic cloves in each slit. If you have very large cloves cut them in half to make it easier to place in the eggplant.
  • Brush each eggplant on all sides and place both on a foil wrapped sheet pan. Place in oven on rack closest to the top heat source.
  • Roast for about 40 minutes. Halfway through, at the 20 minute mark, use tongs to flip the eggplant over. Remove once cooked (should look tender, wrinkly, and soft) and let cool.
  • Once cooled, remove the roasted garlic pieces. Then, peel the eggplant skin. I like to keep the head of the eggplant on for a secure place to hold and twist them around for this part. Once done removing the skin from both, cut off the tops.
  • Mash the eggplants and roasted garlic with a potato masher or a fork. Set aside.

Making Baingan Bharta

  • Tadka: Heat oil on medium in a wide bottom pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let crackle for 30-45 seconds. Add asafoetida.
  • Onion + Ginger: Add onions, mix and cook 1-2 minutes. Next, add ginger, mix and cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Spices: Mix in salt, red chili powder, and turmeric.
  • Tomatoes: Add in small chopped tomatoes and give it a good mix. Cook for 1 minute. You aren't looking to cook them down completely.
  • Eggplant + Garlic: Mix in mashed, roasted eggplant and garlic mixture. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Green chilies: Add in finely chopped green chilies and cook for 3 more minutes. Turn off gas.
  • Cilantro: Add in chopped fresh cilantro, mix, and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gSodium: 817mgPotassium: 781mgFiber: 9gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 709IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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