Thursday, April 21, 2016

Baingan Bhadta or Roasted Eggplant

Punjabi cooking
is interesting as a number of methods are used in cooking different kinds of food. From deep-frying in huge woks to roasting a flat round chapatti in a tandoor (clay oven), unique methods used in North Indian cooking make the process intriguing and leave the dish tasting authentic and unique.

There is no other way Punjabis would have their brinjals than making a bhadta out of them! Baingan ka Bhadta is prepared by slow roasting the oval dark purple large varieties of brinjals on an open stove and then mashing up its roasted pulp to mix it with a tadka of tomatoes and onions.

Known in India as Brinjal, this smooth skinned, shiny deep purple vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Alternatively called aubergine or eggplant, this is healthy enough for weight watchers as it is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat. Buy the long oval shaped deep purple ones. The ones with lesser seeds in them will have a smooth shiny skin and will be long and light-weight.

Baingan Ka Bhadta is cooked every week at any North Indian house, and all at home can take in the fragrance of stove-top roasted brinjals. The roasted brinjals smell just so awesome! It is a spicy, dry main course eaten mostly with chapatti or paratha (griddle-fried flat bread) for lunch accompanied by raita (yoghurt-based side dish generally made with boondi or chopped/grated veggies like cucumber, onion, tomato etc). Baingan Bhadta is made in two ways. My late grandma used to make a salad dish version by mixing roasted and mashed brinjal with freshly chopped onion and tomatoes, green chili with only salt and red chili powder in it. We called it kachcha or raw bhadta and used to relish it with phulkas or chapatti or just like that with a sprinkle of lemon. Sadly that dish is no more made these days. I will try and share the full recipe for it!

Baingan Bhadta is worth all the mess it creates and the time it takes to prepare it. We need to roast the brinjal well till the purple skin chars well changing to a flaky black and the skin starts curling. My golden rule to check if the brinjal is roasted perfectly or not is by inserting a knife into roasting brinjal, if it comes out clean and without any effort its done.

Prepping Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Medium
Messy: Yes

Tip: To reduce the mess I like to line my stove top with foil paper.


2 medium brinjals (600gm)
4-5 onions, finely chopped
3-4 tomatoes, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp Cooking Oil
1 tsp red chili powder
salt, to taste


1) Roast over an open flame for 10-15 min or until the brinjal turns black, while turning occasionally.

 2) Keep aside to cool.

 3) Heat cooking oil in a wok and add chopped onions.

4) Until onions brown, chop the stem and discard. Now peel the skin pinching it off the brinjals and mash the brinjals. Keep aside.

5)  Keep on checking the onions and stir fry until golden brown like this.

5) Now add chopped tomatoes, green chilies and stir.

6) When tomatoes are mushy, and turned into a paste-like consistency, add red chili powder and salt. 

7) Mix and stir fry for 2 min and when you spot oil has separated from the tadka....

....add the mashed brinjal. Mash and mix properly with the kadchchi or large spoon.

Serve with hot phulkas (chapatti) or make these yummy parathas (griddle-fried flat bread) like I did!

Have you ever tried this wonderful dish?

How do you like to eat it? At home with a fluffy phulka or dhaba-style with lots of green chilies? 

Tell me how do you make your brinjal recipes? I'd love to know you cook this wonderful vegetable!

Thanks for reading! :-)

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