Baked Baingan Bharta – aubergine mash

Mallika Basu - Baked Baingan Bharta – aubergine mash

Posted 29th May 2008

It was bank holiday Monday. I decided to brave lashing winds and non-stop rain in the search for gold heels and a summer party frock. I made my way to the shops, where I would sacrifice common sense and comfort at the alter of high glamour.

Now, I am still grappling with the delights of fashionable clothes shopping. All appropriately sourced and reassuringly expensive. Naturally. So I sneaked a look at the magazine the girl next to me on the train was reading. Floral is in. So are gladiator sandals and one-shoulder things.

But a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It took a few hours of wading through muddy streets looking like a bedraggled tramp, before I emerged triumphant with a hideously high pair of gold mock crock stilettos and a little 50s floral number.

I blame Sex and the City – the movie.

What about Indian cooking, you ask? Well, clearly other pressing things have been on my mind this week.

So I resorted to blog hopping to find a little gem of a recipe for baked Baingan Bharta – a smokey aubergine mash. Normally, I roast the aubergines on an open fire to give it the smokey taste, but this version from Bhags allows you to stick the whole lot in the oven.

It was achingly divine. I ate it in full view of my new wardrobe additions. Sometimes, there’s nothing like a delicious new makeover for a tired old classic.

Feeds 4:

2 large aubergines/eggplants

1 medium onion

2 medium tomatoes

2 tbsp Greek yogurt

4 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger minced

Half tbsp each of mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds

1 green finger chilli, chopped

Half inch turmeric powder

Half inch chilli powder

4 sprigs of fresh coriander

Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees Centigrade. Wash and make two deep gashes on each aubergine. Place them on a baking tray and bake for half an hour.

In the meantime, heat the oil over a high flame. When hot add the seeds and as they sizzle up, add the onions, ginger and garlic.

When the whole mixture is golden brown, add the tomatoes, yogurt, chopped green chilli and masala powders. Keep stirring until the masala is well mixed together. Lower the heat and simmer for five minutes while you take the aubergines out of the oven and peel them carefully with a sharp knife.

The skin should just fall off the aubergines. Now, cut the head off and throw them into the masala, raise the flame to high again and stir viciously with a wooden spoon mashing the aubergines well as you go along.

Add salt to taste and serve with the fresh coriander and some toasted pitta bread.

17 responses to “Baked Baingan Bharta – aubergine mash”

  1. Maninas says:

    Yippi a new post 🙂

    I’ve tried a similar dish, and loved it! I believe it was from Vicky Boghal’s book that i picked up from the library for curiosity…

  2. bhags says:

    Hi Mallika,

    the new look of the aubergine looks real cool…nice narration of the recipe too….

    P.S. Thanks for the link

  3. Asha says:

    You make some gashes on the Eggplants and can microwave them too, even easier or grill on the stove top. Looks good, my fave too!:)
    Why idealize “those old women” in the SEX…, you are gorgeous yourself. Enjoy your new Spring wardrobe!:)

  4. I love this dish but have never attempted at making it myself! Thanks for de-mystifying it! 🙂

  5. sandeepa says:

    Have you tried broiling ? Someone told me to broil instead of stove top or bake and that is what I am hooked on. Make gashes, sprinkle salt, douse some oil and broil. The inside is smooth as butter while the outer side crinkles up

    Now yogurt is something I have never added to my bharta.

  6. tbc says:

    “It took a few hours of wading through muddy streets looking like a bedraggled tramp”- 😀

    The addition on yogurt to the bharta is a nice touch! That must make it real creamy.

  7. Glenda says:

    Please can you tell me what is broiling?????

  8. Rashmi says:

    nice twist on good ol’ bharta..and thanks for the trend update:)

  9. sia says:

    i prefer baking it than the stove top method. that way i dont have to roast with them 🙂

  10. The other day I found turmeric root in my local organic shop and sliced it in a stew. Any other ways to use it?

    Your blog made me laugh. I like the way it tied together the classic food/film with a makeover. And hey – at least it wasn’t floral stilettos and a one-shoulder gladiator dress.

  11. Gori Girl says:

    Yum! This looks great – but my husband is allergic to eggplant. 🙁

    By the way, I’ve tagged you for a “six unspectacular quirks” meme – my post on it is here. I’d be interested to hear about your quirks in the kitchen – do you need a certain knife on hand, or is there some spice that you always like to use? 🙂

  12. Krista says:

    No but seriously. This is RIDICULOUS!!!! Thanks for the recipe. And out of curiosity, how usual (or unusual) is it to add yogurt to baingan bharta? I think that was the magic ingredient.

  13. lee says:

    it’s sex and the city…

    by the way… this blog is ace, i love the vegetarian recipes.

  14. Mallika says:

    Ooooh Lee, Freudian slip there. Now amended as per your Eagle Eye observation. And thanks hon for the positive compliment.

    Krista – most unusual indeed! But isn’t is just fabulous? I am ever indebted to Bhags…

  15. Cindy says:

    This one’s been languishing on my to-do list for a while, but Michael finally got round to making it last week. Wish we’d got to it sooner – wow! You may consider this heresy, but the leftovers made a fine toasted sandwich, with a little mango chutney thrown in.

    Thanks for the great recipe – we’ll be making this again (and again…), aiming to perfect the technique. 🙂

  16. Phoebe Koenig says:

    Hi- I’m about to make this, super stoked. I am wondering if half inch of tumerc/chili is supposed to be teaspoon? Thanks for the great recipes!

  17. Nabil says:

    Hi Mallika,
    I have just cooked this wonderful recipe, and I have added the following variations.
    I did not add the yoghurt to the pan, instead I used a cold dollop as a topping a contrast
    to the hot and spicy, and the yoghurt was topped with chopped mint and basil.
    Next trial will have to include pomegranate molasses.

    Sounds divine! Thanks for letting me know M x

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