Cookbook:Baingan Bartha (South Indian Eggplant with Coconut and Chili)

Baingan Bartha (South Indian Eggplant with Coconut and Chili)
CategoryIndian recipes
Time40 minutes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Indian Cuisine | Vegetarian

Baingan bartha is an eggplant (aubergine) dish much loved all over India. This southern version of the dish is very different from northern varieties, and well suited to the cuisine of the region.

Variation I Edit

Ingredients Edit

Procedure Edit

  1. Roast the eggplant directly over a low flame. Don't be afraid to set it right on the gas burner, turning it regularly until the skin becomes blackened and brittle and the flesh soft (about 15–20 minutes).
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. Grind the chillies, coconut, and coriander together in a food processor to form a paste.
  4. Peel the eggplant skin off and mash the flesh to a uniform pulp by hand.
  5. Mix in the coconut paste (and optionally you can then add curds), along with salt to taste.
  6. Serve with chapatis, dosa or rice.

Notes Edit

  • Baingan bartha is commonly produced with coriander (seeds) and/or cilantro (leaves, from the same plant, and thus sometimes confusingly called coriander as well).

Variation II – Maharashtrian Method Edit

Ingredients Edit

There are two methods for bharta:

Procedure (raw method) Edit

  1. Wash, then wipe dry eggplant. Apply some oil on the surface of each one of them.
  2. Roast eggplants over direct heat (Alternatively, char-grill in an oven or over a fire to infuse smoke)
  3. Once the skin is blackened and comes away on touch, let them cool a bit and then peel the burnt skin. Reserve the drippings.
  4. Mash the eggplant flesh by hand until smooth. Transfer flesh to a large bowl.
  5. Mix in the green onion, green garlic (if using), peas, and salt to taste.
  6. Heat some oil in a pan. Once heated sufficiently add rai, then cumin seeds, then green chilies. Let the chilies fry for 10-12 seconds.
  7. Pour this spice mix onto the eggplant mixture in the bowl. Mix well and serve with bhakri and thecha/kharda.

Procedure (frying method) Edit

  1. Follow steps 1 through 5 as directed above.
  2. In the step 6 above add turmeric after chilies. Add the eggplant mixture to the pan of tadka. Sauté for about 1–2 minutes. If required add some of the reserved eggplant drippings to moisten the bharta.
  3. Serve hot.

Kharda/Thecha (Accompaniment) Edit

  1. Wash and dry about 10–15 green chilies and half handful of fresh coriander. Peel 5–7 cloves of garlic; break the chilies in to 2–3 pieces each.
  2. Heat about 1–1½ tbsp of oil on the griddle (tava).
  3. Once heated sufficiently add chilies and garlic (make sure you have exhaust turned on and working).
  4. Fry them for 30–40 seconds over low heat. Turn the heat off. Now add salt to taste. Put this mix in a blender along with chopped coriander and blend it roughly.
  5. Thecha is ready to serve. While serving put some raw groundnut oil on each serving. This is very very hot dish depending the chilies used. Eat and handle carefully!

Variation III Edit

Ingredients Edit

Serves 4

Procedure Edit

  1. Peel and steam the aubergine until the flesh is tender. Mash and reserve.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan, and add mustard and cumin seeds. Sauté for 10 seconds, then add finely chopped garlic and ginger. Saute until the ginger and garlic turn yellow.
  3. Add chopped onion and sauté until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the aubergine mash, turmeric, coriander stem, tomato paste, and salt. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
  6. To smoke the Bharta for a more robust flavour, light a small piece of charcoal and place it over a piece of foil placed inside the dish. Pour about ¼ teaspoon of oil and cover the dish immediately. Leave to infuse.