This fire-roasted eggplant curry is one of my favorite curries and definitely one of my favorite dishes to make. Baingan Bharta is bursting with flavor, it is both savory, sweet, and spicy.
Whenever I go out to an Indian restaurant this is my go-to meal because it is vegan and never fails to be delicious. One of the reasons I like to make it at home is because I can make the dish as spicy as I want and add other veggies to the dish that I have come to love in the recipes I’ve tried from different restaurants.
After years of having and making this dish I have come up with this recipe below that is both bursting with flavor and relatively simple to make.
To make this dish you will first need to preheat the oven to 400. Grab 2-3 eggplants depending on how large they are (two large eggplants or 3 medium/small eggplants) and poke holes in them with a fork. After you poke the holes oil the eggplants up with olive oil, make sure they are fully coated on all sides. Then place them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with oil as well then place them the oven for 50 minutes. Make sure to turn the eggplant every 20 minutes or so to ensure the eggplant is evenly cooking.
While the eggplants are in the oven roasting you will need to grab your spices and other veggies. Take your chili powder, ground ginger, garlic powder, curry powder, ground tumeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, salt and combine in a bowl. You are more than welcome to use more than the amount of seasoning I suggest depending how how spicy you might want your curry. Then take your tomatoes and onion and chop into small pieces. After everything is chopped and ready warm up some oil in your pan on medium heat and sprinkle just the cumin seeds into the pan.
The cumin seed will need to roast/be sauteed separately from the rest of the ingredients. After the cumin seeds have roasted (3-5 minutes) place your chopped onions into the pan. Next grab your fresh garlic cloves and, using your garlic press, press them into the pan, you can also mince your garlic and then add it to the pan, either method works great!
Once the onions are starting to turn golden brown you’ll add your tomatoes. At this point I usually turn my stovetop down to around a level 3 for heat. After the tomatoes are put in you will put your green peas in and sprinkle the seasonings into the pan and mix all the ingredients into the pan with your spatula.
At this point the eggplant should be close to done. When the eggplant is done it should look deflated. Take the eggplant out of the oven and let it cool for 10 or more minutes. While the eggplant is cooling turn the stovetop down to low or simmer and occasionally stir the ingredients. While the eggplant is cooling I would also start the rice. You can use any rice for this dish, but I normally use basmati rice or another white rice if I don’t have basmati rice readily available.
When the eggplant has cooled you will cut it open and scrape the insides out into a separate bowl. I have tired the eggplant both with and without the skins and the consistency and flavor is better without the skins but you are more than welcome to keep the skins on. Once all of the eggplant is in the bowl I drain off some of the excess liquid. For the next step there are multiple options of what you can do depending on how thick or juicy you want your dish to be.
The first option is to mush the eggplant using a fork and cutting the strings of eggplant with scissors in the bowl which is what I usually do. Or you can blend the eggplant up using a hand blender or by putting the contents into a blender. Either option works and it doesn’t change the taste, just the consistency of the dish.
After the eggplant is done to your preference you will combine it with the other ingredients in the pan on the stovetop. At this point the dish is ready to eat. Usually I let the dish sit another 20-30 minutes so that all the flavors can combine together then I serve it over rice.
Hope you enjoy! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments!
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Ground tumeric
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Ground coriander
- 2 tsp Garam masala
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds
- 3-4 medium/large tomatoes
- 1 white onion
- 6+ garlic cloves
- 1 cup green peas
- 2-3 medium/large eggplants