Baingan Ka Bharta | Indian Smoky Eggplant Curry

An Indian eggplant dish with a wonderful smoky flavour.

Eggplant Curry

There are so many way to cook eggplants – it is such a versatile vegetable. It prefers to be a part of a larger dish than stand on its own. The exception is grilled aubergine slices, dressed Greek style with Olive oil.

This recipe is an Indian dish where the eggplant is grilled until cooked through, and the flesh is mixed with spices. Many cuisines have recipes that treat the eggplant the same way but vary in the other ingredients. Baba Ganoush is one example.

Bharta are North Indian (Punjabi) dishes where the main ingredient is roasted and then pureed with spices. The flavours are intensified by the roasting and the resulting dish is spicy and tangy.

See our Bharta recipes here. Read all about Indian Chutneys here, and feel free to browse other Indian Chutneys recipes here and here. You might also like to browse our other Eggplant dishes here and here. Our Indian recipes are here and here. Perhaps browse our Indian Essentials. Or find some inspiration in our Spring recipes here and here.

Eggplant CurryRecipe Notes

The eggplant can be cooked directly over the gas ring of your stove or on a BBQ. This style of cooking gives the eggplant a wonderful smoky flavour. (Best is cooked directly over a wood fire or charcoal BBQ.)

For this dish, you can also cook the eggplant on a grill pan or under the griller or even in the oven.

Here, the eggplant is just sat on the gas ring. Keep turning it every minute or so until the skin is very charred and the eggplant has collapsed.

Let the eggplant cool a little, and then strip away the skin, leaving a wonderful mush of pure smoky eggplant.

Serving Notes

This recipe is great as a dip, served over rice, used as a sauce, or as an accompaniment to any curry. It can be served with dal-rice, kitchari or stuffed parathas. It also goes well with Chapatti, Roti. It has the best taste!

Serving Notes – Western Style
  • As part of an Indian meal.
  • With some flat breads, heated in the oven, and a tomato, salad greens and herb salad.
  • Or maybe with some baked green beans, or lightly boiled broad beans.
  • Sprouted mung beans with a little oil and lemon juice.
  • Add any yoghurt based pachadi.

Eggplant Curry
Baingan ka Bharta

Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it


2 large eggplants
1 – 2 green chillies
1 onion
5 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 Tblspn ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small piece tamarind, soaked in 0.5 cup boiling water, then strained and the tamarind water and any paste you can extract is used in the recipe
0.5 Tblspns jaggery
large pinch of turmeric
1 tspn Garam Masala
1 tspn Coriander powder
coriander leaves
2 – 3 cups water

for tadka
1 Tblspn ghee
1 dried red chilli, crushed
0.25 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn black mustard seeds
2 tspn cumin seeds
(Add 1 large pinch asafoetida if you want to leave out the onions and garlic)

After cooking the eggplant on the stove, in the oven or under the griller, peel the skin off and mash the eggplant flesh thoroughly.

Chop the chillies and onion finely. Chop the garlic and ginger together to form a paste.

Sauté the onions and chillies until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger paste and stir fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the turmeric and after 0.5 minutes or so, add the eggplant flesh, diced tomatoes, jaggery, tamarind, salt and coriander powder.

Cook on a low heat for half an hour, or longer if you have time, to allow the flavours to develop. Add water if necessary to keep a nice moist mixture. Add the garam masala about 10 minutes before the end of cooking.

Heat the ghee in a frying pan. Add the tadka spices, allowing the mustard seeds to pop. Pour the spices and ghee onto the eggplant dish, stir, add the coriander leaves and serve.

You can stir through some curd or yoghurt if you wish.

Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

13 thoughts on “Baingan Ka Bharta | Indian Smoky Eggplant Curry”

  1. I had to google and see whether i was right about mochakottai = butter beans. though I didnt see it documented anywhere clearly, the pics of butter beans I saw look compelling.

    Btw, thts a mean bhaingan there. Have never tasted it, shud try it one day:)


  2. Thanks, Nags, for letting me know. There have been a few mochakottai recipes posted recently – now I can proceed with confidence, knowing they are butter beans. Thanks for your comment about the post. Hope you get to try it.

    Peter and Sunita, the taste is sooo good isn’t it? I am going to try your recipes too.

    Hi lissie, glad you found my blog. Love your pineapple wine!

    Srivalli, your blog is always such a delight. Love your post on burgers. Thank goodness for pregnancies!

    Hope you all get to eat smokey eggplant soon!


  3. I just love this dish and it is one of the few my husband loves, a well made bharta is a delight with paranthas, yours looks good, I posted a recipe of my version too some time back, and I use the gas ring too!


  4. Hi yogamum – i have linked to your woyopracmo post. Great idea.

    bindiya, the gas ring trick is neat, isn’t it.

    TBC, so easy! so nice!

    shivapriya, it is such a wonderful dish, I guess a lot of people make it (each with variations) and post it. I had a lot of fun looking at different ones and choosing the way that I wanted to make it. I was keen to try the gas ring trick with Indian food.


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