Jake and I absolutly love Indian food. The dishes are always so flavorful and comforting. While living in the Bay Area, we were both introduced to this amazing Punjabi (Northern India) dish -- Baingan Bharta. It's easily one of my favorite dishes and reminds me of the Middle Eastern dishes I grew up with. Baingan Bharta is a roasted eggplant dish with stewed tomatoes and other spices. And it's completely vegan!
We love serving this with toasted bread (if you have naan, even better) and rice. Want to make this an Indian dinner night? Check out our recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala and my own version of Okra/Bhindi Masala.
We often double the original recipe since we love this dish so much!
How To Make Vegan Baingan Bharta
First step: Gather and prep your ingredients
Next, roast your eggplants until they begin to char
While the grill is heating up, I like to clean my eggplants. I wash them under cold water, pierce it a few times with a knife, and then rub vegetable oil on them. Then I place them on the grill. Don't forget to turn the eggplants on all the sides. Make sure to roast them until they have started to develop a char.
Three Ways to Roast an Eggplant
- Grill. This is our preferred way to roast eggplants.
- Gas Stove. This is my second favorite way to roast eggplants, especially when I didn't have access to a grill or it's too cold/rainy outside. Simply turn the flame on, and place the eggplant ontop. This will likely make a mess but still allow you to develop a char.
- Oven. If you don't have access to a grill or gas range, you can also roast eggplants in the oven on a sheet pan. Set oven to 375F and roast for 30-45 minutes. Make sure to turn the eggplants every so often. If you're struggling to get a nice char, you can also finish roasting with the broiler.
Let eggplant cool for 5-10 minutes, then peel skin and discard stem. Chop eggplant.
In a large Dutch oven or pot: heat oil and add chopped onions. Sauté over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, until translucent. Then add ginger and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Then add all spices and stir together for 30-45 seconds.
A note about sautéing garlic and spices: they can burn quickly, especially over a high heat. To avoid it from burning, lower the heat to medium and stir for 30-45 seconds. Make sure you have the tomatoes prepped and nearby.
If you don't have mustard seeds or cumin seeds, you can also use mustard seed powder and cumin powder.
Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes
I recommend placing the lid slightly ajar on your pot.
Add eggplant (baingan) and simmer with lid ajar for 7-10 minutes
Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!
Our favorite is to have this with naan and rice. We made this a vegetarian night by serving it with okra/bhindi masala.
Freeze leftovers in your Souper Cubes® tray to enjoy for later!
Baingan Bharta Recipe - Roasted Eggplant with Stewed Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Gopi Patel/We Recipes
- 2-3 large eggplants
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 14.5 oz canned tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh tomatoes), diced
- 1 tbsp. ginger, minced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. red chili powder or red chili pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Roast Eggplant. Turn your grill on. Clean 2-3 larg eggplants, then use a knife to poke holes throughout. Rub eggplants with oil, then let roast until they are nicely cooked throughly. You should see a nice char develop. Take of the grill and let cool. Then peel the skin off and remove the stem. Chop the roasted eggplant and set aside.
- Saute Onions, Garlic, and Ginger. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 medium onion (chopped). Saute onions until translucent, about 4-6 minutes. Then add 1 tbsp. minced ginger and 3-4 finely chopped garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add Spices. Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1tsp red chili powderr, 2 tsp. coriander powder, 1tsp turmeric powder, and 1tsp garam masala. Stir together for 45 seconds to one minute. It's okay if the bottom of your pan begins to brown.
- Cook Tomatoes. Add 2 cups diced tomatoes to the pot and reduce heat to low. Cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add Roasted Eggplant. Add chopped roasted eggplant (baingan) to the pot and stir together with the stewed tomatoes. Cover with lid ajar and cook for 7-10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve. Garnish dish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.