Baingan ka bharta (Indian aubergine caviar) recipe

Baingan ka bharta (Indian aubergine caviar) recipe

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Ideally you cook the aubergine on an open gas flame, but you can also roast it in the oven at the highest possible temperature till charred.

Be the first to make this!

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2cm piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 very large, ripe aubergine, halved lengthways
  • oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • a few fresh coriander leaves
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled
  • salt

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Crush garlic and ginger with a bit of water to make a paste. Brush aubergine with a bit of oil and place a metal skewer through the centre.
  2. Char directly on an open gas flame, turning to cook on all sides. Remove aubergine skin and mash with a fork. Set to one side.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds and fry till fragrant. Add onion and asafoetida and fry till onions are browned. Add the rest of the spices along with the garlic and ginger paste. Stir all together, then add tomatoes and stir again. Add a bit of water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add mashed aubergine with a bit of salt and mix together. Simmer till thickened. poon into serving dish, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

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Malabar Spices.

I would love to know where baigan ka bhartha originated.. was it in India or in the Arab and Mediteranean lands? It has a very unappetizing name, meaning "mashed eggplant", but more colloquially the term "bartha" is used to connote " a mess" or a "mishmash".."or everything mixed in together".

It's the similarity in the eggplant preparation that made me curious. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines have similar recipes of eggplant that is roasted and then mashed and seasoned. They have the baba ganoush, roasted eggplant salads, roasted eggplant dip, Greek Eggplant Dip, another dip from Romania and so on.
Our humble badly named bhartha is eaten with chapathi. is it used as a dip? Well, if you notice, we scoop up the bhartha with the chapathis similar to the pita with the dip.. So are they long lost cousins from a Persian invasion?
We like eggplants in any form. fried as a pakoda, baked in layers with other stuff, pureed, or sliced, marinated with red chili powder and turmeric and deep fried, and sometimes even as a side dish. In that case, this is my first go to recipe.

Season this any way you like, but this is the basic recipe that I follow. The eggplant is bland with just a smokey flavor so is open to any kind of interpretation. You can make it more tomotoey, more tangy with more spices if you want to. My Bombayite friend just roasts it and adds fresh raw chopped cilantro, green chilies and onions and gives it a seasoning of cumin in Ghee. That tastes good too. But then I like eggplant in any form.:)

You Will Need:
The Big 2 pound Sized Eggplant -1
Red Onion - 1 finely diced
Medium sized Tomato -1 finely diced
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp( use fresh paste or finely chopped)
Hot Green chilies - 4 chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder -1/4 tsp (adjust with the spice of the green chilies)
Coriander Powder -1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder -1/8 tsp
Jeera Seeds -1/2 tsp
Chopped Coriander/Cilantro leaves - 2-3 tbsp for garnish
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp approx.

1. Preheat the oven to the broiler setting. Wash the eggplant, wipe it dry and place it on a foil lined baking tray right under the broiler in your oven. Bake it for 10-12 minutes, turning it over once so that the outer skin gets burnt all around evenly. The roasting can be done over a gas flame too, turning continuously..but it gets quite messy. Or you could even cook it by microwaving for 5 mts but then you don't get the smokey flavor.
2. Wrap the eggplant in the foil and allow it to cool. Then remove the outer skin. Mash the eggplant well and keep it aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan and toss in the cumin seeds. Add the onions,green chillies and saute well till the onions start tuning brown only at the edges. Add the ginger garlic paste. Mix and saute and then add the red chili powders, turmeric and coriander powder. Fry it well. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and the mashed eggplant. Cook on medium low heat for 5-10 minutes, taking care not to let it stick to the pan. Stir once in a while. The color slowly changes from the greyish brown to a deeper brown. If the onions were fried too much then the gravy would start turning a darker brown. Add the lemon juice in the end just to balance the flavors. If the tomatoes are sour, you may not need lemon juice at all. Add the garam masala and cilantro leaves and check for salt.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Place eggplant on a medium baking sheet. Bake 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender. Remove from heat, cool, peel, and chop.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix in cumin seeds and onion. Cook and stir until onion is tender.

Mix ginger garlic paste, curry powder, and tomato into the saucepan, and cook about 1 minute. Stir in yogurt. Mix in eggplant and jalapeno pepper, and season with salt. Cover, and cook 10 minutes over high heat. Remove cover, reduce heat to low, and continue cooking about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

American Eggplants

Probably the most common in the States – American Eggplants are also known as Globe Eggplants. It’s not hard to see why, they’re giant (compared to the other eggplants) and round, like a globe.

These eggplants flesh is mostly more mild flavored and spongey in texture, so it is good at absorbing spices and seasonings and other food it’s cooked with.

Since their body is so big, and they are almost ‘meaty’ in a sense, they are the eggplants for cutting in to giant slices, and then cooking it in this fashion, for example grilling, or making eggplant parmesan.

American Eggplant Recipes:

Parshu, this is a very good remark about Laphroaig, it is indeed very peaty! I will try the baingan bartha as a final installment of my aubergine caviars of the world serie. Thanks for your visit!

mici: barbecue-roasted minced meat finger food. Eat with mustard.
ciorba de burta: one of an amazing variety of ciorba (soup, it is a Turkish word), this one is based on tripe, and it is amazingly tasty. It could feature well in your category of perplexing and surprising food.
bulz ciobanesc: baked polenta "pie" with cheese
sarmale: like a cabbage-leaf dolma?
cozonac: a sweet Christmas bread

then there is a whole gang of placinta pies. And many dishes that you also find in other traditions, like schnitzel and various types of sausages.

. it is a very rich cuisine. One fantstic book on the subject is Radu Anton Roman "Savoureuse Roumanie", published in 2004 in French, which should make it very convenient for you.

Coincidentally, we also have a similar eggplant-based dish here in the Philippines. It is essentially an eggplant salad that we eat together with grilled and fried foods, most notably roast pork. It consists of grilled eggplants that have been peeled and shredded, chopped tomatoes and onions, finely minced garlic and sliced chili mixed with a dressing of light soy sauce, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and some sugar.

You will notice that there is no oil in the dressing, as it is supposed to balance out the oily tastes and flavors of grilled and fried meat or fish.

Anyway, great work on the site. Keep up the good work!

Also, and I don't mean to sound too nerdy here, but I think Vlad II Dracul was just the father of Vlad III Tepes. I think Vlad III Tepes was the heroic but cruel king to drive out the Ottomans, and the one which Bram Stoker based his character from. His father had joined the Order of the Dragon whilst king & thus obtained his title Vlad II Dracul (the dragon). All of his sons thus were given surnames of 'Draculea' or son of Vlad Dracul. Over time, Vlad III gained the title Tepes (Impaler) because of reknowned cruelety in battle, where he executed his enemies bt impaling them on large poles. A grisly sort of crucifiction. Hope I got that all right - anyway, sorry to geek out like that, but Romania has a fascinating history and it's a wonderful place to visit. Yet another foodie destination! Cheers.

Oh, and I really like your blog, recipes, your camera and all your photos!


Mediterranean/Middle East

Baba ghanoush (Arabic بابا غنوج bābā ghanūj) is a popular Levantine dish of eggplant (aubergine) mashed and mixed with various seasonings. Frequently the eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. [ 1 ] Baba ghanoush is usually eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light brown color.

Similar to baba ganouj is another Levantine dish mutabbal (متبل lit. 'spiced'), which also includes mashed cooked aubergines and tahini, and mixed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and anar seeds. Moutabel is sometimes said to be a spicier version of baba ghanoush.

In Armenia the dish is known as mutabal. The essential ingredients in Armenian mutabal are eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon, and onion and most Armenians also add cumin.

In Iranian Cuisine, the dish is known as Kashke Bademjan. It is made with Whey sauce ( Keshk). [ 2 ]

In Turkey, the dish is commonly known as patlıcan salatası ("eggplant salad"), also prepared with grilled eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic sometimes, tahini, chopped tomato and green pepper as well. More frequently, eggplant is mixed with yoghurt, olive oil and garlic. Patlıcan beğendi is a similar dish, which is served hot with meat. It includes cheese, milk and flour. [ 3 ]

In Israel, both the traditional version made with mashed grilled aubergines, garlic and tahina, as well as a variation made with mayonnaise instead of tahini, called salat ḥatzilim b'mayonnaise (Hebrew סלט חצילים במיונייז), is widely available. [ 4 ]

In Greece and Cyprus, melitzanosalata is made with olive oil and lemon juice. [ 5 ] [ 6 ]

Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant relish made from chopped fried vegetables (mostly eggplants and peppers), seasoned with celery, olives and capers, in a sweet sour sauce. Today, caponata is typically used as a side dish or appetizer, but, since the 18th century, it has sometimes been used as a main course.

Aubergine caviar is prepared in southern France. Baked, peeled aubergine is mixed with garlic, tomato, parsley, lemon juice, and finally olive oil. It is served as an appetizer with French bread, possibly along with olive tapenade.

Eastern Europe

Salată de vinete (Eggplant salad) or Vinetta is both a Romanian and Hungarian mashed eggplant salad made of grilled, peeled and finely chopped eggplants, sunflower oil and chopped onions. The eggplants are grilled until they are covered with black ash crust. The crust is cleaned off and the remaining cooked eggplant is mashed with a blunt, thick wooden knife on a wooden platter (popular belief has it that using a metal knife will turn the eggplant flesh black). The eggplant mash is mixed in a bowl, stirring continuously, with sunflower oil, chopped onions and salt. The mix is beaten vigorously. Crushed garlic and ground pepper may be added too. Instead of oil, mayonnaise can be used.

In Bulgaria a typical eggplant appetizer is kyopolou, it is made with roasted aubergines and red peppers.

In Russia and Ukraine, a category of similar dishes is known as baklažannaja ikra (Russian: баклажанная икра , literally "eggplant pâté" (Note that "ikra" in this context means "puree", mashed "ragout" or "pâté" rather than the homonym "caviar") and some versions add chopped tomatoes to the basic recipe. [ 7 ] Another eggplant salad popular in Russia is called he iz baklažanov (Russian: хе из баклажанов, and it is probably influenced by Korean cuisine). Eggplant he is based on julienned (instead of mashed) cooked aubergines and other vegetables, prepared with concentrated vinegar. After adding the vinegar, it is set aside for several hours to cure before eating.


In Ethiopia, the eggplant dish is more commonly known as blagadoush.

Indian subcontinent

In Indian and Pakistani cuisine, an eggplant dish, by the name of Baingan Bartha , is popular especially in the regions of Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa , and West Bengal. The dish has many names, depending on the local language (Hindi: baingan ka bharta, Bengali: বেগুন ভর্তা begun bhôrta, Marathi: wangyacha bharit). In the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Tamils prepare a similar dish called kathrikai thayir kothsu, in which the eggplant is cooked and mashed and sautéed with mustard , red chilis, and sesame oil, after which curd is added to the mixture and dressed with coriander leaves. It involves smoked eggplant, mashed with fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), chili pepper, onion and mustard oil. [ 8 ] It is often eaten with an Indian flatbread (specifically roti or paratha), and is also served with rice, and/or raita (a yoghurt salad). Kashmiris prepare a spicy and tangy dish of egg plants called Choek Wangun with tamrind constituting an important part of the gravy. [ 9 ] Baingan Bartha is also eaten across Pakistan, as well as in Bangladesh.

Spain/Latin America

Berenjena a la vinagreta is a typical appetizer made from boiled eggplants in a vinaigrette. The eggplant is usually salted to remove moisture then boiled until soft and then placed into a vinaigrette with garlic and various herbs or spices.

In Argentina the eggplants will rest in the vinaigrette, often containing plenty of oil, for several days and then is eaten as part of a picada before a meal.

In Spain it can be found along other pinchos at tapas bars.

In Catalonia, eggplant is roasted and seasoned with olive oil in the dish escalivada.

Whenever we’re at a restaurant that serves baba ganoush, we always order it. Not only is it one of our absolute favorite things to order at a restaurant, it’s easy to make at home, too.

Making baba ganoush is a very similar process to making hummus. We are basically swapping the chickpeas called for in hummus for delicious roasted eggplant.

Soft, sweet, and slightly smokey roasted eggplant is combined with tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), fresh lemon juice, garlic, and spices. It’s absolutely divine!

Making this recipe at home is easy, here are the basic steps for making it.

Step 1: Broil whole eggplants to char the skins. This step lightly chars the outsides of the eggplant, which adds a smoky flavor. You can also char the skin of the eggplants using a grill or even a gas burner.

Step 2: Switch the oven to bake and roast the eggplants until very soft. For the very best baba ganoush, the flesh of the eggplant needs to be very soft. Roasting time will vary based on how large the eggplants are. I simply roast until they look like they are caving in and a fork can very easily pierce through the flesh.

Step 3: Combine tahini with lemon juice, garlic, spices, and olive oil. These are the remaining ingredients needed to make baba ganoush. I like to mix them together early on since the mixture improves in flavor over time.

Step 4: Stir the roasted eggplant into the tahini mixture. I use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh and then use a fork to mash it into the tahini and lemon juice mixture. I like some texture so I don’t use a food processor to make baba ganoush. A fork works perfectly fine!

For the best baba ganoush, broil eggplants first to char the skin, and then turn the oven to bake to finish roasting. I don’t use a food processor to make baba ganoush. A fork is perfect for mashing the roasted eggplant into a flavorful mixture of tahini, lemon juice, and spices.

Don’t Skip the Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds with a consistency similar to almond or peanut butter. You’ll often find it used in hummus, salad dressings, and dips. It can be found in most grocery stores. Just look near the international or Mediterranean foods and we bet you’ll find it. You can also buy it online.

You can also make your own tahini! It’s very simple to do. Here’s our homemade tahini recipe with a quick recipe video that shows you how.

While I 100% recommend using tahini to make baba ganoush, I know not everyone is a fan of its flavor. If you are not a fan of tahini, try reducing the amount called for in our recipe below — use 2 tablespoons instead of a 1/4 cup.

Make Ahead and Storing

One of the best things about baba ganoush is that while it tastes great right after making, it tastes even better after a day or two in the fridge. This is the perfect make-ahead appetizer! The dip will keep in the fridge up to 5 days.

Recipe updated, originally posted October 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Nigel Slater's aubergine curry recipe

Peel 2 medium onions and roughly chop them. Halve and thickly slice 2 medium aubergines. Soften the onions and aubergines in 6 tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep pan. As the vegetables soften, add 2 peeled and thinly sliced cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger. Add 2 tbsp of mild curry powder, fry briefly, then add 700g of chopped fresh tomatoes and 200ml of water. Leave to simmer for 25 minutes, until the curry has thickened. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tbsp of garam masala. Finish with a little fresh coriander and offer yogurt at the table.

Darjeeling Express. Food that makes my heart sing

My friends know that all I really want to do is run my own restaurant. I’d love to say it was something I’ve wanted since the day I ate my first butter naan, or the first time I was taken to a restaurant as a child. It wasn’t. And to be honest, I cannot recall the first time I decided that one day I will spend the rest of my days working 24/7, having swapped my enviable shoe collection for… ugh, flats.

I’ve put forward every excuse – no money, no location, no help, no time except the real one: no inspiration. I could not bring myself to commit to my dream because I had not yet tasted food that I would be proud to serve. There was fear that I would never find the food that would make my heart sing.

That is, until I was fed by Asma Khan. We share a hometown (Hyderabad), a love for Bollywood, and an unconditional passion for authentic flavours. Asma too has a desire to turn this passion into a life of working 24/7, swapping her brocade kurtas for kitchen whites.

But she wasn’t always the fantastic cook she is today. It is safe to say that when Asma moved to the UK in 1991, as the good wife of a Cambridge scholar, she could not even boil an egg. She spent her first two years in the country eating salad and her husband’s chicken curry. In her own words “life was not worth living.” In 1993 Asma travelled back to India to spend time in her ancestral kitchens, and over the course of a few months mastered recipes that have been in her family for four generations. She came back to being a wife and mum and along the way got a PhD in Law. It wasn’t until April of 2012 that Asma decided to turn food into a career. Somewhere in these last two decades, a skill learnt out of desperation turned into an obsession. Asma became Darjeeling Express and made her debut at London’s Supper Club Summit.

When Asma asked me if I would take charge of her Front of House I squealed a massive “YES!” Having tasted Asma’s glorious food on more than one occasion I was honoured to be part of a team that would bring such joy to 55 lucky guests and thrilled that I got to play restaurant for a day. This is what we served:


Every dish on the menu comes with a story. For instance, the haleem recipe belongs to Ali Miyaan who used to cook for Hyderabad’s Nizam family. The samosas were learnt by Asma out of pure desperation. (Shocked at what passed off for a samosa in the UK she would not drink another cup of chai without a proper samosa.) And she learnt that the secret of proper chaat is in its tamarind chutney. Asma went back to her school in Calcutta and and bullied chaatwalla Subodh into teaching her the tricks to a perfect tamarind sauce (he still serves students mouthwatering puchkas!).

Waitressing isn’t exactly new to me. But serving a few dishes to a bunch of tables is nothing compared to what it took five of us to synchronise the service of 15 dishes to 55 people. Having been a diner at other supper clubs I knew that the manner of a guest at a supper club is different from when they visit restaurants. They are more patient to start with, which was a relief because none of us anticipated the trauma of plating up 55 portions of chaat and dessert in under ten minutes! They also had a lot more questions about the food as some of these dishes they had never seen at any one of London’s hundreds of Indian restaurants.

The tiny kitchen was a hive of activity for the four hours that the meal lasted. We saw every drama from breaking dishes and moody waitresses, to running out of clean spoons and a grumpy potwasher. And just as we thought we had everything under control, along came the “last minute vegetarians”. Thankfully, the spirit in the dining room was completely the opposite. Old school friends chose the supper club as a venue for their reunion, and new lovers celebrated a birthday. Happy diners didn’t seem to notice the gap between courses as they licked their plates clean, waiting patiently for more.

The super hit dish of the night was the Bengali fish malai curry. Traditionally, this dish is made with prawns and only at celebrations. Tonight was a celebration of sorts and the chef was allowed to take a few liberties!

At about 11pm I realised that I had not had a sip of water or a bite to eat since lunch that day that my feet had blisters and I had cuts on both my hands from heavens knows what that I had washed more dishes than I ever intend to for the rest of my life. At about 11pm, I also realised that I had not been this happy in years and couldn’t wait to do it again!

I have eaten and served food that makes my heart sing. And just like that, my dream isn’t scary anymore.

All the photographs are courtesy dashing supper club guest Christopher Goh.

Someone had send about a dozen fresh organic broccoli and I have been cooking with broccoli a lot. Fresh organic vegetables make the best salads, the best grilled vegetables and even soups. Even though a soup is made by liquidizing a perfectly fresh vegetable, the taste tells the story of how much flavours it packs. I am definitely on a broccoli overdrive, not at all bored with this vegetable and was in fact really glad to encounter broccoli even when we went out for dinner the other day. But this broccoli soup that I am referring to, was such a stunner that I have been dreaming of it since then.

This was no ordinary broccoli soup, it was a broccoli cappuccino that piqued my interest instantly and kept the promise too. A green broccoli soup is topped with a dense foam of mushroom- walnut cream and is sprinkled with black olive dust. I polished off a huge mug of this soup and could have had more if I had not reminded myself to taste a few more things on the menu.

This was at The Hiatus, a voguish restaurant at Clarion Collection-Qutab Hotel. This restaurant has a nice patio, a private dine-in-cellar, a Chef's table inside the kitchen and a well stocked bar with a corner for cigar racks and additional seating. Quite a luxurious place with a promise of good food. Of course there were a few misses too but a few good finds in a dining place is good enough to remember the place and contemplate going back.

I liked the assorted herb infused butter that came with the dinner rolls. House baked fresh breads and 4 different kinds of butters to experiment with. I liked the crispy fried prawns for starters but the mixed vegetable cigars were average. The presentation of the vegetable puff cigars was interesting with a huge syringe used to inject tomato sauce in a spongy bread topped with balsamic caviar. This was a case of more pomp less show but I like the idea of balsamic caviar using molecular techniques.
We tried a mediocre tasting chicken tikka too that was pleasantly served with a good portion of green salad. I am not complaining, tikkas are mediocre food mostly.

Amuse bouche was a layered stack of Dragon fruit and sour cream. Tasted more like a mini salad.

What bowled me over again was a water melon salad that came in a natural bowl along with rocket leaves and different dressings, honey, olive oil and feta cheese on the side. One can make a dressing one likes or just keep dipping the watermelon balls in different dressings and enjoying different flavours each time. For the first time I realised that watermelon tastes great with honey mustard dressing. This was another great find of the day.

Among the mains, a slow steamed chicken breast rolled with spinach and herbs disappointed me as it lacked any flavours and the chicken was a bit too firm, although cooked in a Sous-vide machine they have.

The seafood risotto was quite nice. Full of plump prawns and calamari rings and topped with a green lipped mussel, this risotto was truly a seafood treasure. A combination of mild pomodoro sauce and Parmesan cheese studded with seafood richness and deliciously cooked al dante, this risotto is something I would like to go back and eat again.

I was not looking forward to the desserts but Arvind wanted to try. Nothing to talk about regarding desserts if you ask my opinion but the world going after red velvet cakes and flashy versions of tiramisu might find a few good things there. Most people like desserts just for the sugar rush it brings.

I would be recreating the broccoli cappuccino really soon and share it here too. Stay tuned.

Watch the video: Baingan Bartha - By Vahchef @ (July 2022).


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