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Eggplant Bharta with Peas Recipe

Updated on December 31, 2007
Eggplant Bharta with Peas (Baingan Ka Bharta)
Eggplant Bharta with Peas (Baingan Ka Bharta)

Eggplant Bharta (Baingan Ka Bharta) is one of my husband's favorite ways to eat eggplant. The roasted flavor of the eggplant in this traditional Indian dish is kicked up a notch with the fire of Indian spices. It is quite easy to make at home; you don't even have to sweat the eggplant because of the roasting.

Most recipes call for you to chop the raw vegetables very finely, but we found that we preferred to puree them with a blender or food processor and sautee them briefly before adding the mashed eggplant.

This recipe is vegetarian and can be made vegan if you substitute margarine for the butter.

Eggplant Bharta with Peas Recipe

serves three to four

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants (aubergines)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
  • 5 medium-sized garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 lime
  • ghee (or butter) as needed
  • oil as needed
  • salt to taste

  • serve over aromatic basmati rice with chutney on the side

Preparation Instructions:

1. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and rub the sliced side with ghee (or butter). Place the eggplant halves sliced-side down on a baking sheet that can withstand high heat (note that Teflon-coated cookware is not recommended for this or any other recipe involving high temperatures).

2. Adjust your oven rack to the middle of the oven and place the baking sheet on the rack. Close the door and turn the oven to broil. The eggplants need to roast until the skin is fully blackened and the vegetable is very soft when poked with a fork--about 30 minutes at least. In this case, roasting the eggplant for too long is preferable to having it come out too raw.

3. Place the onion, garlic, and chilies into a food processor or blender and puree them. Two chilies are quite spicy, so make sure to adjust this to your taste.

4. Just before the eggplant finishes roasting, start your rice cooking according to its own instructions.

5. When the eggplant has finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards, discarding the skin and ends. With a potato-masher or fork, mash the eggplant until it has a smooth and even texture.

6. In a medium saucepan, heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook it, stirring frequently, until it is slightly browned-no more than five minutes. Be careful not to breathe the steam coming off of this, as it will knock you down!

7. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Bring the mixture up to temperature and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for ten minutes or until the peas are fully cooked.

8. Just before serving, squeeze lime into the pot and stir in the cilantro.

9. Serve over aromatic basmati rice with some chutney on the side. Enjoy!

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    • Sally Dillon profile image

      Sally Dillon 

      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Melissa Ray - I've been reading through your recipes and you really do know all the tricks and tips - that is truly good advice to let people know NOT to use teflon with high heat. Thank you. Besides that, the recipe looks awesome. Will be giving it a try soon. I love Indian style food.

    • Melissa Ray Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa Ray Davis 

      9 years ago from Swannanoa, NC

      Leslie: Every eggplant bharta recipe I've seen has had cilantro as a main ingredient. Is it possible that you are allergic to cilantro? Because a cilantro allergy will make cilantro taste like soap to you, and cilantro allergies are very common. Perhaps that's why this tasted bad to you but great for the others who have made it. I'm sorry the dish didn't work out for you.

    • profile image

      Leslie 

      9 years ago

      I'm sorry, but this was terrible! I order eggplant bharta in restaurants all the time and it didn't look or taste anything like it. I followed the recipe exactly...not sure what went wrong. Cilantro seemed like the wrong spice...

    • profile image

      pankaj gupta  

      9 years ago

      pad pankaj - unhone pad likh ke hamare mathe pe chutiya likh diya

    • profile image

      Nancy 

      10 years ago

      I just made this.

      Its great! thanks

    • misshardy profile image

      misshardy 

      10 years ago

      Baingan ka Bharta is one of my favorite eggplant recipes! I usually eat it with Bhakari made of bajra or Rice. Yummy!

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