Punjabi baingan bharta
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Punjabi baingan bharta | Aubergine (eggplant) mash with peas

A delicious Punjabi dish- charred eggplant (baingan) mashed and cooked with exotic spices and green peas.
Course side dish or main
Cuisine Punjabi | North Indian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium sized brinjals aubergine/eggplant
  • 1 cup green peas thawed if frozen
  • 2 medium onions chopped small
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped small
  • piece A small of ginger minced
  • 2-3 green chilies minced or chopped fine
  • 4-5 medium sized garlic pods
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil I used mustard oil for this
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp dhaniya powder coriander powder
  • ½ tsp Haldi turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Amchur Powder Dry mango powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp anardana pomegranate seeds coarse powder-optional
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • leaves A handful of fresh cilantro rinsed and chopped, coriander

Instructions

  1. Rinse the baingan (brinjal/ aubergine/ eggplant) thoroughly and pat dry it with a napkin or kitchen towel. Prick it at 5-6 places with knife so we could insert garlic pods into them (if using).

  2. Roast the baingan on open flames for about 15-18 minutes (* See Notes if you are roasting them in oven), turning frequently, every 2-3 minutes to ensure even cooking from all sides. Insert the garlic pods half way through so they also get roasted for about 7-8 minutes at least.

  3. Once the aubergines are cooked properly (insert a knife inside to check that), keep them aside to let cool off a bit.
  4. Once cold enough to touch, take the garlic pods out if you have used them. Mince them slightly and keep aside.
  5. Then immerse the cooked eggplants into a mixing bowl full of cold water and gently peel off the skin. You could also do the peeling under cold running water so your hands dont get sticky.
  6. Once skinned completely, mash it slightly using a potato masher or back of a spoon. I just use my hands to do so. Keep aside.
  7. In a pan or wok, heat the oil. Throw in bay leaf and cumin seeds, let them sizzle. Then add chopped ginger and green chilies. Fry for a few seconds, then add the chopped onions and fry for a few minutes till they start turning pink.
  8. Now add chopped tomatoes and roasted garlic bits along with all the spices except garam masala. Cook for a few minutes with lid on till tomatoes get all mushy and start leaving the oil off the pan.
  9. Add in mashed aubergine along with salt as per taste. Mix everything well and cook covered for 7-8 minutes at low flame. Keep stirring in between. At the end, if there is some water in the pan, turn the flame to medium and let it evaporates till the sabzi is nicely roasted with no water running.

  10. Finally, add garam masala and Amchur powder, mix well and switch off. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot crispy paratha, roti or rice.

Recipe Notes

Pick the brinjal without seeds, the lighter one with a smooth shiny skin. And not the one with lines or patterns on the skin for bharta. 

Roast for 30-45 min in Oven at 180 degrees. Turn every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. 

If boiling- chop brinjals roughly, then throw in the pressure cooker with 2-3 tbsp of water and some salt for 2 whistles. Peel the skin off after its cooled off, and use as per instructions.