Baingan Bharta

February 11th, 201111:00 am @

Baingan Bharta

Best food ever . . . baingan bharta

Ask any of the various maids we’ve employed what they think of baingan bharta and you’ll likely get a roll of the eyes and something muttered in Hindi (most likely swearing). Ever since our first maid cooked up this roasted eggplant dish I was hooked and every maid since has been asked to cook it. It’s very much like baba ghanoush, but with spices and a lot more depth.

I’d never made it myself because you need to roast the eggplants – which is usually done over an open flame – and I had visions of setting the eggplant, myself and at least part of our kitchen on fire. Coming across a comment on the net that you can oven-roast them, I thought I’d have a bash myself and give our maid a rest.

The result wasn’t bad, if I do say so myself, although not really up to the standards of our maids’ efforts.


  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 medium eggplants (aubergine, melongene, brinjal, or guinea squash – take your pick)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • Alternatively – 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste (much easier)
  • 2-3 green chillies – chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Fresh coriander – chopped


  • First up – roast the eggplants. Our long-suffering maids do this over the gas burner on the stove, which is probably the best way to do it, but this can be hard on the burners, so I roasted them in the oven. Just smear them in vegetable oil, put them on a roasting tray and stick them in a hot oven for about half an hour or so. You’ll know they’re done when they start “popping” and a gentle poke on the skin causes the eggplant to fall in. Let them cool down and peel the skin off – it should just fall away. Mash up the eggplant and put it aside.
  • Heat some oil in a pot and add the cumin seeds, stir for about 30 seconds – until you start to smell the aroma they give off.
  • Throw in the onions and fry until they’re soft.
  • Put in the garlic and ginger and give it a good stir.
  • Now add the tomatoes and the rest of the spices.
  • Stir the mix occasionally and cook it down until the tomatoes start to fall apart and the whole mixture develops a thick sauce-like consistency.
  • Stir in the eggplant and the fresh coriander, season to taste and you’re done.
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