Baingan Bharta, a popular smoky and zesty dish from North India, is made with roasted mashed eggplant sauteed in onion, garlic, tomatoes, and Indian spices. Vegan & Gluten-free.

Baingan Bharta in plate with roti
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I know some of you might not like eggplants, but if you are willing to experiment with this unappreciated vegetable, you MUST TRY this baingan bharta. It has to be one of the tastiest ways to cook eggplant.

But if you are a true fan of eggplant or brinjal, you have to try these Indian eggplant recipesAloo Baingan and Bharwan Baingan. Both these recipes are so different from each other and give an amazing twist to this humble vegetable.

Eggplant is considered native to India and popularly known as the ”King of vegetables”. And it does have a beautiful crown sitting on its head.

Interestingly, the term Eggplant is used in North America and Australia. ‘Aubergine is the name by which it is called in Britain. In Persian, it is called ‘badenjan‘. It is called the ‘brinjal in India, South Africa, and other South Asian countries.

My mom makes the best Baingan ka bharta. She was visiting me last summer, and I relished this favorite dish many times while she was here. So here is her authentic Punjabi recipe for you all.

Many of you have asked me for an instant pot Baingan Bharta recipe, but I have tried the pressure cooked bharta and it does not do justice to this traditional dish without the wonderful roasted smoky flavors in it. So take my suggestion, and make it the authentic way as in the recipe below!

Watch How to Make Baingan Bharta (Roasted Mashed Eggplant)

What is Baingan Bharta?

In Hindi, “Baingan” means eggplant, and “bharta” means puree or mash. Thus, it translates to nothing but mashed eggplant.

It’s a delicious traditional Punjabi dish brimming with spicy and smoky flavors.

I would say that baingan bharta is a cousin of the Middle Eastern dish Baba Ganoush. The aubergine is roasted the same way, but the spices and other ingredients used are unique.


Ingredients needed for Baingan Bharta
  • Eggplant: Since this is the star ingredient, you should know which type to use for the bharta. Choose the round/ globular Italian type because it is best for grilling/ roasting and yields the most eggplant pulp after you remove the burnt skins. The eggplant must be big, juicy, firm to the touch, and light in weight as it’ll have few and small seeds. One large eggplant will suffice for this recipe. Do not buy small and skinny Asian or Indian eggplants. Also, look for glossy dark-purple brinjals without any dents/ bruises.
  • Oil/ Ghee: Use any vegetable oil of your choice. I love to cook my sabzis in mustard oil for the most authentic taste. When cooking with mustard oil, remember to heat it till it smokes. If you are not vegan, use ghee for an amazing aroma.
  • Cumin seeds: When sautéed in hot oil, cumin adds a delightful flavor and aroma to the dish
  • Green Chili:  I use Thai green chili for the extra kick. But you can use jalapeno or serrano pepper. These add a great flavor, but it’s best to avoid them if you are sensitive to heat.
  • Onion: I use yellow onions, but you can use red onions if you prefer.
  • Garlic and Ginger: Use freshly minced garlic and grated ginger. You can even use a store-bought ginger-garlic paste.
  • Tomato: firm red diced tomatoes will make the base for this curry
  • Cilantro: fresh cilantro – add lots of it for an amazing flavor and fresh aroma
  • Spices: Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder are just a few spices you need for flavor and seasoning. These are easily available at the Indian store.
  • Salt: as per taste

How To Roast Eggplant?

The eggplant would typically be cooked in a charcoal oven, but in modern homes, it’s more likely to be done over a stove flame, a grill, or an oven. Here are some ways you can roast your eggplant.


  • For this method, you will need a pair of tongs and wire roasting rack (roti jali). You can roast without the rack and directly on the burner, too.
  • Place the wire roasting rack on the burner. Brush some oil on the eggplant. Start roasting the eggplants on a medium flame.
  • Turn the eggplant every few minutes to ensure uniform roasting. It will take about 12-14 minutes to roast the eggplant.
  • At this point, the eggplant should be soft and nicely charred. To test, insert a clean knife or fork into the center of the eggplant; if it passes through without resistance, the eggplant is done. Cooking time can be increased if required.
  • Cover the roasted eggplant with a foil and let it cool for some time.

Air fryer

  • Add 3-4 slits to the eggplant. Brush some oil on the eggplant. Place the eggplant in the basket. Brush the eggplant with some oil.
  • Roast the eggplant at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes. Then flip it and roast for another 18-20 minutes.
  • You must flip the eggplant halfway through to ensure even charring.
  • To check if the eggplant is adequately cooked, insert a clean knife or fork in the center to check.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add 3-4 slits to the eggplant, or you can also poke holes with a fork. Brush the eggplants with some oil and make sure they are coated well. Arrange the eggplants on a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven. Roast the brinjal for around 40-45 minutes. Check and flip halfway through.
  • The skin of the eggplants will be charred, and the inside will be soft and mushy. Insert a clean knife and check the doneness. If needed, add a few more minutes of cooking time.
  • Take the eggplants out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.

How To Make Baingan Bharta?

Making baingan bharta is pretty easy, and you don’t have to be an expert at cooking. The bharta making process consists of two broad steps.

  • a) Roast and Mash Eggplant
  • b) Cooking Bharta

The step-by-step instructions are as follows:

  • Roast eggplant. Peel, chop, and mash with a potato masher.
  • Heat oil in a large pan on a medium-high flame and add cumin seeds. Sauté until the cumin seeds sizzle.
  • Add green chili pepper, ginger, and garlic.
  • Add onions and saute until they are golden.
  • Add spices and tomatoes. Mix and cover with a lid so the tomatoes soften. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the oil separates.
  • Add the mashed eggplant. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on medium-low for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro.
Baingan Bharta in a pan with cilantro
  • ta-dah! scoop out the bharta with freshly made roti or paratha.
indian dish with eggplant in serving bowl


Eggplant: Choosing the right eggplant is crucial for a great-tasting mash. The eggplant must be big, juicy, firm to the touch, and light in weight as it’ll have few and small seeds.

Roasting Eggplant: Roast the eggplant on an open gas flame. This will give you the best charred flavor.

If roasting your eggplant on the stove, I suggest you line the stove with foil by cutting a hole to fit around the burner. Place the eggplant directly on the grates of the gas stove or on the mesh rack. This will reduce the mess and make cleaning a breeze. My mom suggests also not to make slits in the eggplant so that the juices of the eggplant don’t come out and make a mess on the stove.

If roasting the eggplant in the air fryer or oven, you can make slits in the baingan and stuff them with garlic cloves. The garlic cooks along with the eggplant, imparting the best flavor.

Removing skin: The key to easily removing charred skin from the eggplant is to cover it and let it sit. Covering it generates steam, which makes peeling off the skin easier.

Remove all of the charred skin from the eggplant. If there are any bits of charred skin, the bharta will taste bitter.

Prepping ahead: To save time on busy weeknights, you can prep and store the onion tomato masala in advance.

You can also roast multiple eggplants at the same time. Peel and mash them, and store the mash. This roasted, mashed eggplant can also be frozen in small portions. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.

This is so helpful as you don’t have to roast (and clean) every time and still enjoy the Baingan bharta.

Baingan ka Bharta with onions and green chilies on the side


  • You can also add green peas to the eggplant bharta. Add boiled peas. It will not only taste delicious but also boost the protein content.
  • If you are not a fan of the smoked flavor, you can make your bharta without roasting it in a pressure cooker.

How To Serve?

Baingan ka bharta is eaten by scooping it with Indian bread, such as warm plain roti/ chapati or parathas, bajra roti, missi roti, etc.

You can serve it as a side with rice and your favorite dal/ lentils.

Baingan bharta can also be served as a dip or topping with mini naans or pita.

It makes a great pairing when served with raita, as the yogurt balances out the spice level of the bharta.

Common Questions

Is Baingan Bharta Healthy?

Baingan bharta is a healthy Indian dish.
Eggplant is a non-starchy veggie. It is low in calories and provides a good amount of fiber. It is also a low-glycemic food, making it perfect for people with diabetes.
Eggplant’s antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, help protect cells from damage. It’s also high in polyphenols, natural plant chemicals that may help cells perform better. These chemicals also improve brain function and prevent cancer.
For further reading, visit here.

How to freeze Baingan Bharta?

You can store leftover baingan bharta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This brinjal bharta also freezes well. You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container/ bag for up to 1 month.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or microwave until the dish is heated. Just before serving, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro.

Can people be allergic to eggplants?

Some people are allergic to eggplants. They will experience itching after handling and eating the vegetable. Usually, people who have hay fever are more likely to develop an eggplant allergy. This is due to the presence of histamines. Cooking vegetables may alleviate symptoms in some people, but it is best not to risk it as not all allergen-causing elements are destroyed.

More Vegan Indian Recipes

4.89 from 9 votes

Baingan Bharta (Roasted Mashed Eggplant)

Baingan Bharta, a popular smoky and zesty dish from North India is made with roasted mashed eggplant, sauteed in onion, garlic, tomatoes and Indian spices. Vegan & Gluten-free.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3


  • 1 Eggplant (Baingan), large, about 450-500 grams
  • 3 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 2 Green Chili Pepper, diced, adjust to taste
  • 2 cups Onion , diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, grated
  • 2 cups Tomatoes , diced
  • Cilantro leaves, to garnish



Roast Eggplant

  • Rinse and dry the eggplant. Apply oil over the eggplant using your palms or a brush. Roast eggplant.
  • Place the eggplant on top of a burner for roasting. Optionally, use a stainless steel mesh on top of the burner, and place eggplant on it. Roast whole turning frequently for about 12-14 minutes. Once done, a fork or knife should insert easily in the eggplant. (see notes for air fryer method)
  • Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let it cool slightly. Now with your fingers, remove the skin completely. Then chop/mash the eggplant using a knife/fork. You can also use a potato masher.

Cook Bharta

  • In a large pan on medium-high flame, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds until the cumin seeds sizzle.
  • Add green chili pepper, ginger and garlic. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add onions and saute for 5-7 minutes until they are light golden. You don't want to brown them.
  • Add all the spices. Then add the tomatoes. Mix well, and cover with a lid so the tomatoes soften. Saute for 5-7 minutes until the oil separates.
  • Add the roasted mashed eggplant. Mix well and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn flame to medium-low and cover with a lid for 3-4 minutes. Remove lid, and give the bharta a stir. Turn off flame.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, and enjoy with roti or paratha.



Prepping eggplant for roasting: Many people suggest to add slits with a knife before roasting the eggplant. My mom suggests to not do that as that creates a mess with the juices of the eggplant coming all over the stove. 
Removing skin: Remove all of the charred skin from the eggplant. The bharta will taste bitter if there are any bits of charred skin.
Roasting eggplant în air fryer: Add 3-4 slits to the eggplant. Brush some oil on the eggplant. Place the eggplant in the basket. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes. Then flip it and roast for another 18-20 minutes.


Calories: 250kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 901mgPotassium: 791mgFiber: 9gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1077IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi I’m so grateful for your site. It’s my most used recipe site for cooking because you do such an excellent job of explaining each step and nuanced but important details.

    I have a question about roasting the eggplant on the stove. Do you rest it on the wire rack most of the time or are you also holding it up with your tongs? I tried making this today and was holding up the eggplant and now my arm is sore. Haha that got me wondering if you just rest it on the rack and use the ring to rotate it.

    And finally, when you roast it do you roast it until the inside is fully cooked? Mine were only cooked about half an inch from the outside to the center. I just cooked it down longer in the pan. But wondering how much you cook your eggplants when you roast them.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Tina – So glad that you are enjoying the recipes on the site. I do rest the eggplant down on the wire rack. I use tongs to turn them as needed. I do sometimes there to pick up to cook the bottom edge. The eggplant should be mostly cooked and soft all through after roasting. You should be able to easily mash it with a fork after peeling the skin.

    1. Hi Sheetal – I am not sure what could make the bharta green. Was the eggplant inside green when you cut it?

  2. Hi Meeta, do you think roasting the eggplant in an oven or air fryer would work? I have an electric stove top instead of gas, so I don’t think I can roast it the way we traditionally do.

  3. Would be helpful if measurements were in grams. Cup size depends on how small, big you dice the veggies. Eggplant sizes vary from location to location.

    1. Hi Primrose – If you click on metric in the recipe card, the ingredient measurements will show in grams. I will measure the eggplant next time and include the details. Thanks for the feedback!

      1. Hi Meeta and Primrose – We just made a triple portion of this and weighed each eggplant first. The large ones we used appear to be about the size of the one Meeta is holding in the first roasting photo and they weighed about 440 grams each.

        Meeta – Thanks for another great recipe!