The Best Baingan Bharta
Recipe courtesy of Nidhi Jalan for Food Network Kitchen

The Best Baingan Bharta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
This smoky roasted eggplant dish from India is one of my favorites. It’s served as a main course, as part of a selection of dishes in a thali. Different versions are made in various parts of the country but this Punjabi recipe is the most popular. The best flavor and smokiness comes from roasting the eggplant on a direct flame or grill. I never add dried spices to my baingan bharta in order to really taste the smoky eggplant with sweetness from the onions, tang from the tomatoes, a little heat from the green chiles and a burst of freshness from the cilantro. It’s precisely this combination of flavors that makes this dish so amazing!



  1. Put the whole eggplant directly over a moderate flame on a gas stove or grill. Cook, turning it every couple of minutes with metal tongs, until charred all over and the flesh is completely soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Wait until the eggplant is cool enough to handle then peel off the skin and discard--don’t worry if little bits of skin remain. Remove and discard the stem, coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, until softened with just a hint of color, about 10 minutes. Add the chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw smell goes away, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the eggplant and cilantro and cook, stirring occasionally, until well mixed and the flavors have melded, about 3 minutes. Adjust salt to taste and serve hot.