Friday, November 30, 2012

Baingan ka Bharta (Roasted Eggplants with Peas)

Among my favorite dishes (to make and to eat) is Baingan ka Bharta... or bharta bataw da (as I tend to say it in Punjabi). There are many ways to prepare the dish but I tend to make it the easiest way I know how. When roasting the eggplants or aubergines, I use the gas stove. There are people who prefer to simply boil the eggplants using a pressure cooker. I suggest the stove (or if you have a grill then that is loads better) because the smokiness adds to the flavor.

Photo courtesy of

It may surprise you to know that there are three different colors of aubergines or eggplants (baingan or bataw). They are the usual purple, then there is the white and the green. It does not matter which one you use for a bharta but it is preferable to use the more round-shaped ones.

Baingan ka Bharta

If you have been following my blog (and I do urge you to do so... unless you want to stay sane, that is), you would know that I tend to be a somewhat lazy cook. I hardly measure anything and I hardly even make use of complicated mixes of spices.

To make Bangan ka Bharta, you will need:

4 - 5 whole eggplants (baingan; white or purple or green will do just fine)
1/2 cup of green peas (frozen or fresh)
2-3 small to medium onions (chopped)
1-2 tomatoes (small to medium; chopped)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)

Once you have your ingedients, you can proceed to make Baingan ka Bharta, and the steps are:

1. Make sure that the eggplants have been washed and checked for any holes (holes means that there are residents within the eggplants and they are best avoided).

2. Turn on the stove and set the flame to low. Place the eggplants on top of the flame (you can use a grill if you have one). Slowly roast the eggplants and turn every few minutes. The skin needs to be very dark (almost very dark grey). The skin will crack and liquid will tend to leak out so the eggplants need to be turned every few minutes or they will burn.

3. Once the eggplants are soft (you can test this by pressing down lightly with a spoon), they need to be taken off the flames and placed into a dish where they can be skinned. Turn off the stove.

4. Remove the skin of the eggplants (carefully as they are rather hot and you may burn yourself). I tend to keep a small bowl of water nearby so I can soak my fingers when the job becomes way to hot ;)

4. Once the eggplants are skinned, remove the stem. The eggplants will need to be crushed using the back of a fork and set aside.

5. In a pan, saute the onions in a little oil until they are caramelized, add tomatoes. Once the oil separates, add some haldi (turmeric powder) and then add the green peas. Add just a little water, enough to cook the peas with. 

6. When the peas appear puckered and are soft (that means they are cooked), add the crushed eggplants and mix well. Cook for about 5-6 minutes while stirring slowly. Add just a sprinkle of water if you notice the eggplants sticking to the pan. 

7. After about 5-6 minutes, remove the Baingan ka Bharta from the pan and serve. (It goes very well with nan, roti, or rice)

Posted by: Bames Pabla
Bames Live, Updated at: 10:38 AM

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