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Baingan Bharta – Instant Pot, Stove Top

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Baingan Bharta is a popular dish from North Indian cuisine. Bharta or a dip, is made with roasted mashed eggplant, sauted in some onion, garlic, tomatoes and some aromatic Indian spices. This easy, zestful, smoky dish, is served as a side dish and pairs well with tandoori roti, naan, or paratha. This dish is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, and LOW-FAT.

Baingan Bharta

 

WHAT IS BHARTA

Bharta is a dish from North Indian cuisine and is typically made by mashing roasted veggies, flavored with some fresh herbs and spices, to give bharta a robust flavor. Bharta is traditionally made with eggplant (baingan), turnips (shalgam) or mixed veggies.

Baingan bharta is my all time favorite. I remember my mom used to make this baingan bharta specially during winters, with some Jowar roti smeared with a dollup of ghee and a piece of gud ( jaggery ). It was just amazing!!

Bharta is prepared in different ways in different parts of India. One such similar dish is Chokha. Chokha, is a popular dish from Indian state Bihar, made in similar way as bharta. Litti Chokha, a classic combination, where chokha is served with Litti. LITTI, is a stuffed roasted dough ball, made with whole wheat flour and stuffed with a mixture prepared with Sattu (roasted chickpea flour), spices, herbs.

Like Bharta, Chokha is made with one or combination of veggies such as BAINGAN CHOKHA, made with only eggplant, or aloo chokha made with only potatoes, and/or tomato chokha made with just the tomatoes.

The chokha can also be made with the combination of veggies such as baingan aloo chokha (eggplant potato), baingan aloo tomato chokha (eggplant potato tomato). I have shared the recipe for BAINGAN CHOKHA, TOMATO CHOKHA on my blog.

Pic Shown: Baingan Bharta, Dill paratha, and some salad.

 

Baingan Bharta

 

WHAT IS BAINGAN BHARTA

Baingan Bharta is made with fire roasted eggplant, roasted red bell pepper (optional) for an enhanced flavor, and tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and some aromatic Indian spices. Baingan Bharta goes well with tandoori roti, naan, or paratha. You can also serve this delicious bharta with some LITTI, fire roasted stuffed dough ball.

Roasting the eggplant, bell peppers brings out their natural sweetness and flavors and gives it a rich velvety texture. The robust flavors of roasted eggplant, and roasted red bell pepper, is reflected in this simple relish.

Onions are sauted in some oil, along with some garlic, which adds a savory depth flavor to this dish. Fresh tomatoes add a nice fresh, tangy flavor, and green chili give the required heat to this dish. Finally, handful of fresh cilantro adds brightness and nice refreshing look and flavor to this relish.

You can use mustard oil, to saute onions, garlic to give this dish a nice robust flavor and a additional layer of flavoring to this simple dish. This relish is so versatile that it can be served with meat, veggies or simple flatbread. Enjoy this Baingan Bharta with your favorite food.

INGREDIENTS FOR BAINGAN BHARTA

2 medium, EGGPLANT

1 large, RED BELL PEPPER

1 large, ONION (red or yellow)

2 medium, TOMATO

6-8 cloves, GARLIC

1/2 inch GINGER

2-3 GREEN CHILI, adjust to taste

2 tablespoon OIL

salt to taste

handful of FRESH CILANTRO

DRY SPICES

2 teaspoon CORIANDER POWDER

1/2 teaspoon RED CHILI POWDER, adjust to taste

1/2 teaspoon TURMERIC POWDER 

1/2 teaspoon DRIED MANGO POWDER( Amchur powder )

1 teaspoon GARAM MASALA, adjust to taste

HOW TO PICK BAINGAN (EGGPLANT) FOR BHARTA

Picking fresh vegetables is a key to making this delicious Baingan Bharta. It is important to use fresh, young eggplant. Look for eggplant with a glossy, smooth skin, green stem and is heavy for it’s size.

Eggplant should be slightly firm but not hard. To check for ripeness, lightly press the eggplant against its skin, if you can see the imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Also, choose small to medium size eggplants. These tend to be sweeter, and less bitter than the larger ones.

The more mature the eggplant (left to grow longer) will have more seeds, and with more seeds comes more bitterness.

Eggplants do not stay fresh for longer period of time and therefore it is best to use them within a day or two.

VARIOUS METHODS TO ROAST VEGGIES FOR BHARTA

There are different ways you can roast the veggies. Traditionally, veggies are roasted in an open fire or on a stove top, to bring out the rustic, smoky flavors in the veggies. However, you can also roast the veggies in an oven, in an instant pot using mealthy crisplid or in a air fryer.

Wash the veggies well, pat dry the veggies with a clean kitchen or paper towel. Follow one of the methods discussed below to roast the veggies.

STOVE TOP ROASTED VEGGIES

You will need ROTI JALI, TONGS

Place a Roti Jali on a stove top. On a medium heat, roast the veggies, until veggies are soft and charred.

Turn the veggies every few minutes for even roasting.

  

 

Check if the veggies are done. The veggies will be soft and slightly charred. Insert a clean knife in the center of the veggies, if it goes through it without any resistance the veggies are cooked through. If required add few more minutes of cooking time.

Remove from heat. Let veggies cool down for few minutes.

Pic Shown: Roasted eggplant, roasted red bell pepper

 

 

AIR FRYER / INSTANT POT ROASTED VEGGIES USING MEALTHY CRISPLID

You will need INSTANT POT, MEALTHY CRIPSLID, TONGS

IMPORTANT: Completely UNPLUG the Instant Pot unit, before proceeding with this recipe.

Using a pastry brush, grease the crispy basket with some cooking oil. Arrange the eggplant, and red bell pepper in the crispy basket. Using a pastry brush, apply some oil over the veggies.

Note: You can place the veggies directly on the trivet (that comes with crisplid), or use the crispy basket, both work fine.

Depending upon the size of the veggies, you may have to work in batches.

Place the trivet (that comes with crisplid) inside the inner pot of Instant Pot.

Place the crispy basket on top of the trivet. Now place the mealthy crisplid on top of the inner pot. Plug the crisplid and lower the handle.

Roast the veggies at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, check half way through.

Check if the veggies are done. The veggies will be soft and slightly charred.

Insert a clean knife in the center of the veggies, if it goes through it without any resistance the veggies are cooked through. If required add few more minutes of cooking time.

Note: Please use timing as a guideline. Depending upon the size of the veggies, the cooking time will vary.

Remove the crispy basket and allow the veggies to cool down for few minutes.

OVEN ROASTED VEGGIES

You will need 9*13 inches BAKING SHEET, TONGS

I love this oven roasted veggies, specially when I am cooking big. This method comes in so handy, not only it saves me a ton of time but is also easy cleanup.

Preheat the oven at BROIL or 400 degree Fahrenheit.

Arrange the veggies on a 9*13 inches baking sheet. Brush the veggies with some oil.

Place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven. Roast the veggies for 25-30 minutes, check half way through.

Check if the veggies are done. The veggies will be soft and slightly charred. Insert a clean knife in the center of the veggies, if it goes through it without any resistance the veggies are cooked through. If required add few more minutes of cooking time.

Note: Please use timing as a guideline. Depending upon the size of the veggies, and also different oven have different temperature settings, the cooking time will vary.

Remove the veggies from the oven, let it cool down for few minutes.

HOW TO MAKE BAINGAN BHARTA

Here’s an easy STEP BY STEP process of making Baingan Bharta.

ROASTING VEGGIES

Using one of the methods discussed earlier, roast the veggies.

Once the veggies are cool, peel the skin of the veggies, and discard the seeds. Keep the veggies along with its juices in a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the eggplant and roughly chop red bell pepper. Keep it aside.

 

 

Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

 

 

Add chopped garlic, ginger, saute for 30 seconds.

Add chopped tomato, green chili. Dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dried mango powder, mix well. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.

 

 

Add roasted, mashed eggplant, chopped red bell pepper, and salt to taste. Mix well.

Cook the veggies, for 3-5 minutes or until well blended and all the flavors are incorporated well. Turn OFF heat.

 

 

Add some garam masala, handful of fresh cilantro. Serve Baingan Bharta with some tandoori roti, naan, or paratha, GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, jaggery and some salad. YUM!!!

 

Baingan Bharta

 

 

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST BAINGAN BHARTA

Use fresh vegetables. Please refer to the post discussed earlier – HOW TO PICK EGGPLANT FOR BHARTA.

Applying some oil to the veggies, helps veggies crisps evenly. You can also use cooking spray instead.

The robust, smoky flavor in Baingan Bharta comes from how well the eggplant is roasted. It is important to roast the veggies well in order to achieve a nice robust, smoky flavor bharta.

Cooking time may vary depending upon the size of the veggies. Please use timing as a guideline, different air fryers / ovens, have different temperature settings. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.

You can use mustard oil for cooking, for the robust flavor. For milder flavor, use olive oil instead.

Dried Mango powder adds a hint of tanginess to the Bharta. You can also use some fresh lemon or lime juice instead, works just fine.

VARIATIONS TO THIS BAINGAN BHARTA

Use mustard oil for cooking, adds a nice robust flavor.

Green onions, green garlic, and cilantro add a nice crunch and freshness to the bharta. Feel free to add as little or more depending upon your liking.

For a sweeter, milder garlic flavor, use roasted garlic instead of raw garlic.

Roasted red bell pepper, adds a nice smoky, sweet, peppery flavor to the bharta. For a less intense smoky flavor, you can use chopped bell pepper instead. Add chopped bell peppers while sauting onions.

Green peas add nice texture, vibrant color, and sweet flavor to this bharta.

FAQ ABOUT BAINGAN BHARTA

WHERE CAN I FIND GREEN GARLIC – green garlic is available in most Asian / Indian grocery stores. You can find fresh green garlic in the produce section or frozen green garlic in the frozen vegetable section.

CAN I SKIP RED BELL PEPPER – Absolutely, you can make this dish without red bell pepper, with only eggplant.

HOW TO SERVE BAINGAN BHARTA – Baingan Bharta is served warm with some tandoori roti, naan, or paratha, GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, jaggery and some salad

CAN I FREEZE BAINGAN BHARTA – Yes, you can freeze baingan bharta for up to a month. If planning on freezing the bharta, do NOT add raw veggies such as green onions, green garlic, or cilantro.

Thaw the bharta overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving bharta, reheat the bharta and add green onions, green garlic, and cilantro. Enjoy!!

HOW TO STORE BAINGAN BHARTA – Bharta stays fresh for 5-7 days in the refrigerator. If planning on storing the bharta, do NOT add raw veggies such as green onions, green garlic, or cilantro.

Before serving bharta reheat the bharta and add green onions, green garlic, and cilantro. Enjoy!!

WHAT IS TANDOOR – Tandoor is an open, clay oven, used in India for baking and/or roasting purpose. Typically, veggies are roasted in the tandoor and are used to make the bharta. However, at home we use oven method for the same.

 

Baingan Bharta

 

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Baingan Bharta - Instant pot, Stove Top, Air Fryer

Baingan Bharta is a popular dish from North Indian cuisine. Bharta or a dip, is made with roasted mashed eggplant, sauted in some onion, garlic, tomatoes and some aromatic Indian spices. This easy, zestful, smoky dish, is served as a side dish and pairs well with tandoori roti, naan, or paratha. This dish is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, and LOW-FAT.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine North Indian
Keyword bharta,baingan bharta,instant pot baingan bharta, air fryer baingan bharta,mashed eggplant
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR BAINGAN BHARTA

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large onion (red or yellow), sliced
  • 2 medium tomato, sliced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 green chili, adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • salt to taste
  • handful of fresh cilantro

DRY SPICES

Instructions

STOVE TOP ROASTED VEGGIES

  • You will need ROTI JALI, TONGS
  • Place a Roti Jali on a stove top. On a medium heat, roast the veggies, until veggies are soft and charred.
  • Turn the veggies every few minutes for even roasting.
  • Check if the veggies are done. The veggies will be soft and slightly charred. Insert a clean knife in the center of the veggies, if it goes through it without any resistance the veggies are cooked through. If required add few more minutes of cooking time.
  • Remove from heat. Let veggies cool down for few minutes.

AIR FRYER / INSTANT POT ROASTED VEGGIES USING MEALTHY CRISPLID

  • IMPORTANT: Completely UNPLUG the Instant Pot unit, before proceeding with this recipe.
  • Using a pastry brush, grease the crispy basket with some cooking oil. Arrange the eggplant, and red bell pepper in the crispy basket. Using a pastry brush, apply some oil over the veggies.
    Note: You can place the veggies directly on the trivet (that comes with crisplid), or use the crispy basket, both work fine.
  • Depending upon the size of the veggies, you may have to work in batches.
  • Place the trivet (that comes with crisplid inside the inner pot of Instant Pot.
  • Place the crispy basket on top of the trivet. Now place the mealthy crisplid on top of the inner pot. Plug the crisplid and lower the handle.
  • Roast the veggies at 400 degree Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, check half way through.
  • Check if the veggies are done. The veggies will be soft and slightly charred.
  • Insert a clean knife in the center of the veggies, if it goes through it without any resistance the veggies are cooked through. If required add few more minutes of cooking time.
    Note: Please use timing as a guideline. Depending upon the size of the veggies, the cooking time will vary.
  • Remove the crispy basket and allow the veggies to cool down for few minutes.

INSTANT POT BAINGAN BHARTA

  • Using one of the methods discussed earlier, roast the veggies.
  • Once the veggies are cool, remove the skin of the veggies, and keep the veggies along with its juices in a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the eggplant and roughly chop red bell pepper. Keep it aside.
  • Turn ON saute mode (more), add oil, chopped onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped garlic, ginger, saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped tomato, green chili. Dry spices – coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, dried mango powder, mix well. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.
  • Add roasted, mashed eggplant, chopped red bell pepper, and salt to taste. Mix well. Cook the veggies, for 3-5 minutes or until well blended and all the flavors are incorporated well. Turn OFF heat.
  • Add some garam masala, handful of fresh cilantro. Serve Baingan Bharta with some tandoori roti, naan, or paratha, GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, jaggery and some salad. YUM!!!

STOVE TOP BAINGAN BHARTA

  • Follow the recipe as discussed earlier. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Rest of the recipe is same as Instant pot.

Notes

Please refer to post for the following:
  1. HOW TO PICK BAINGAN (EGGPLANT)
  2. PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST BAINGAN BHARTA
  3. VARIATIONS TO THIS BAINGAN BHARTA
  4. FAQ ABOUT BAINGAN BAINGAN BHARTA
  5. OVEN ROASTED VEGGIES

 

 

Jyoti Behrani

Hello!! Welcome to my blog, my journey Living Smart and Healthy! Cook with me easy and authentic Indian food and around the globe. Will be sharing tips and tricks on easy authentic cooking, without spending hours in the kitchen or comprising on authentic flavors. Keeping things simple and healthy is what I am all about. Life is simple, so lets keep cooking simple too!!

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