Friday, October 15, 2010

Baigan ka Bharta with Dahi - Seasoned Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt

I have said this before - My family is an aubergine/eggplant/brinjal/baigan (Hindi word) hater. When I say hate I mean HATE in caps. There are only two Indian recipes that can mellow down this hate from time to time. ( I'm assuming that putting slices of eggplants under the layer of cheese in a pizza, thats hogged down like the day would never come again, isn't counted?). One is the Baghare Baigan that I have posted earlier and other is this Baigan ka bharta. These are two extreme recipes. Baghare Baigan on one hand is a Hyderabadi classic recipe stuffed and layered by amazing spice blends that can make any dish taste good. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to demean the Baigan Uncle ( I like to think of it as a male because it looks like a man's pot belly) but in Baghare Baigan I think the star is really the spices that makes it an irresistible treat for anyone.

On the other hand, Baigan ka bharta is all about Baigan. Its very mildly spiced with minimal ingredients. I know I have claimed this with Baghare baigan recipe too, but if you really want someone to start liking eggplant, please start here. Its much easier than Baghare baigan, goes great as a side dish, specially a spicy Indian dish. Its smoky, tangy and refreshing. Though secretly I like to believe that it is the yogurt which makes this Bharta special. Because you know I.HEART.YOGURT.

Baigan stands for eggplant and Bharta means mashed up, which basically means mashed up eggplant. There are basically two ways that North Indians make bharta , one is with yogurt and other is without. The without yogurt one has much more spices, garlic and tomatoes in it and unfortunately doesn't really go down the bellies of our choosy family but I do adore some of that too. 

Whatever be the reasons, even if the Baigan is she. Or anything else for that matter, I'm sure you will enjoy this as much as we do. 

Baigan ka Bharta with Dahi

1 large size eggplant *
2 cups Yogurt (homemade is even better. Here is how I make mine)
8 sprigs of green onions **
1 tsp cumin
1-2 green chillies
1-2 tbsp of ghee or oil
Salt to taste

* I recently read an article on how should recipes be written for  food blogs and realized damn I seem to be doing so much wrong. Like what would a large size eggplant mean. A small could be large and a large could be small in your world right? But I'm creature of habit. I'm lazy. I'm (okay lets not go there today). So what does a person with no writing skills or weight or size skills ( you can tell from the way I'm putting on weight these days) explain a large size eggplant. I take a picture. A  crappy picture but a picture nevertheless.
( I pity myself for the nail polish that matches the eggplant.Wrinkly hand. God I was so young once, I was 18 few years ago. What happened to me? )

You see not the Indian small purplish eggplants they are, they are this huge almost blackish purple eggplants that look like a man's pot belly and if it has a depression or something of sought on the bottom it looks like something else too.This is a family friendly website. Just saying.


You need to roast that bottom. I mean eggplant. I prefer doing it on open flame because thats how I have been doing it forever. But you could do it in the oven too. Roast it in the oven at 200 C for 20-25 min rotating it from time to time to char the skin from all sides. But this is how I do it.

Rub the eggplant with some ghee or oil. Get to the lowest flame you can. Place the eggplant upright. Bold and shiny.

Once the skin at the bottom gets charred change sides. The key is to keep the flame low and burn the skin slowly enough that the flesh is cooked through. This takes around 15-17 minutes.

The bold and shiny ends up as  wrinkled ( like my hand) and flat mess. All goodness. Let it cool and the skin should come off easily. Cut off the top stem part.

Labor on your messed up stove.And don't bother if you can't get every speck of skin off the eggplant. Its a good thing. 

With the back of spoon or a masher mash the flesh.

Chop the green onions. You need all of it,  green and white. Slit the green chillies length wise.

Heat a tbsp of ghee or oil and add cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the slit green chillies. Before the chillies start to change color add the mashed eggplant.

Heat it through for 2-3 minutes.

Switch off the stove and let this cool.

Add the chopped green onions and salt.

Add the yogurt. Mix well.

Serve it at room temperature or chilled. We like anything yogurt to be cold.

Except Turkish yogurt soup. Or Shish Barak. Or. Never mind.

 Enjoy this for the time being.


  1. Hey thats basically a baingan raita.I have heard about it a couple of times but never tried or tasted one!Actually too chicken to try yogurt with eggplant !!!
    You got patience girl..taking pic of each step...I would throw camera onto stove top by the end of it! :)
    I like that serving dish of yours!

  2. An now gimme a hug babes...First comment!!!

  3. looks yummy! you take the skin off the eggplant-i do too, but i've seen some ppl leave it on, don't know which way is right, hehehe :)

  4. YUM! I love bangan ka bhart but haven't tried making it as I have an electric cooktop. Any tips on how to cook the eggplant?

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  6. @Sabera You can roast the eggplant in the oven for 20-25 mins at 200-220 C turning it from time to time so the skin is charred from all sides.

    @Farida The first time I made baigan ka bharta with tomatoes and garlic my hubster made the ugliest face one can ever make. But I was determined to get it into his system and I finally succeeded with this :) As for the rawness, as I mention in the post I reheat the mashed eggplant again with the tadka to make sure its cooked through. If you feel your eggplant has not cooked you can cook it longer with tadka. Aww I knw DCP and bharta Yum! I also think DCP is Bohra's best recipe!

  7. This is my favourite dish We call it brinjal raita .We are just opposite to your family .We love eggplant in any form.

  8. This looks really yummy and must-try..thanks for the recipe. :)

  9. Wow so lovely n yummy....simply love ur pictures and step by step explanation...
    Event: Dish Name Starts with C

  10. oh this look yummy, congrats for new outlook of ur blog, isn't there some difference? loved ur first pic :) and your nail paint color is too good :)

  11. This looks great...It's one of my dad's specialities and I love it! Btw I don't think I ever responded to your comment about my husband on my about was too funny :) I read it aloud to him and he got a kick out of it!

  12. Thank you everyone! Your comments make me SO happy!

    @Ananda Its one of the many looks I'm considering. I like pink.But I'm not that girlish so lets see if this stays:)

    @Nithya Aw! I'm embarrassed now ;)I went back and re read the comment myself and found many typos. Besides I meant it but just don't read it loud.

    Love all.

  13. That is such an innovative it!

  14. I love eggplant made this way. With rice and roti. :-)

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  16. KUlsum this is great..
    u really need to invite me soemtime for lunch or dinner :P

  17. Doesn't roasting it give the baingan such a smoky taste! Is this also a Middle Eastern inspiration. My Mum in law taught me something similar, from her stay for many years in Abu Dhabi.

  18. I love your step-by-step photos! This is so delicious.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the eggplant widget at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  19. we are in sync! I just charred an eggplant on an open flame today, but then I finished roasting it in the oven. Might combine mine with sunflower oil and parsley, but I've done a dish with Indian spices before!

  20. Yummy recipe!! Will try soon. Please do post your recipe for kaari chawal, I do have the readymade masala for now but I would like to learn how it make it from scratch. I will truly appreciate. :)

  21. I've loved egg plant ever since I first tasted it when I was about 12. I have tried this recipe three times already (only discovered it three weeks ago), and it is utterly delicious. I roast the egg plant under the grill on high for about 20-25 minutes, turning it once or twice. Works really well.

  22. Hi,

    I didn't have spring onions stocked, so I tried replacing it with normal onions.

    It was yum! Thanks for the recipe :D

  23. Hey! This recipe is very similar to what I used to have at home. Thank you! At home we also added a lot of chopped up coriander. It adds to the to the texture along with the crunchy green onions. :)


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