Baingan Chokha – Instant Pot Mealthy Crisplid, Air Fryer, Oven, Stove Top

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Chokha or bharta is a popular dish from Indian subcontinent. Chokha or a dip, is made with roasted mashed veggies, some herbs and mustard oil. This simple, zestful, smoky relish, pairs well with LITTI, poori, paratha or as a dipping. This dish is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, and LOW-FAT.

 

 

WHAT IS LITTI CHOKHA

Litti-chokha is a popular dish from Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh. 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.

Chokha is a dish typically made by mashing roasted veggies, flavored with some fresh herbs and spices, and drizzled with some mustard oil, to give chokha a robust flavor. Chokha is traditionally made with eggplant (baingan), potatoes (aloo) or tomatoes. I have shared recipes for BAINGAN CHOKHA,TOMATO CHOKHA on my blog.

Pic Shown: Top left – GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, Top right –BAINGAN CHOKHA,Center – TOMATO CHOKHA, Bottom – AVOCADO LITTI

 

 

 

WHAT IS CHOKHA

Chokha is a dish typically made by mashing roasted veggies, flavored with some fresh herbs and spices, and drizzled with some mustard oil, to give chokha a robust flavor. Chokha is traditionally made with eggplant (baingan), potatoes (aloo) or tomatoes.

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 tomato chokha in this post. I have also shared TOMATO CHOKHA  on my blog. Please refer to the post later for – VARIATIONS TO THIS BAINGAN CHOKHA

WHAT IS BAINGAN CHOKHA (BHARTA)

Baingan Chokha (Bharta) is made with fire roasted eggplant, potatoes (optional), and tomatoes, some herbs and mustard oil. Baingan Chokha is traditionally, served with LITTI, but it goes well with poori, paratha or naan.

Roasting the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and flavors and gives it a rich velvety texture. The robust flavors of roasted tomatoes, and roasted garlic, is reflected in this simple relish.

Raw onions give this relish a savory depth, green chili give the required heat to this dish and fresh cilantro adds brightness and nice refreshing flavor to this relish.

Fresh lemon juice balances the sweetness with it’s tangy flavor. And finally, mustard oil adds a punch to this simple dish with its smoky, pungent flavor.

Tempering with mustard oil is optional, but I think tempering adds an 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 tomato chokha with your favorite food.

Pic Shown: Baingan Chokha (Bharta)

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR BAINGAN CHOKHA

1 MEDIUM, EGGPLANT

1 LARGE, POTATO (OPTIONAL)

1 LARGE, TOMATO

6-8 GARLIC CLOVES

1 MEDIUM ONION (OPTIONAL)

2-3 GREEN CHILI, ADJUST TO TASTE

1/2 INCH GINGER

1/2 TEASPOON PINK HIMALAYAN SALT 

1 TABLESPOON MUSTARD OIL – For milder flavor use OLIVE OIL

HANDFUL OF FRESH CILANTRO

FEW MINT LEAVES (OPTIONAL)

GREEN GARLIC – You can use fresh or frozen green garlic, available in most Asian/Indian supermarket.

FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE, ADJUST TO TASTE

FOR TEMPERING (OPTIONAL):

1 TABLESPOON MUSTARD OIL – For milder flavor use OLIVE OIL

1 TEASPOON PANCH PURAN

1/8 TEASPOON ASAFOETIDA

2-3 DRIED WHOLE RED CHILI

HOW TO PICK BAINGAN (EGGPLANT) FOR CHOKHA

Picking fresh vegetables is a key to making this delicious chokha. 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 CHOKHA

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 an 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.

AIR FRYER / INSTANT POT ROASTED VEGGIES USING MEALTHY CRISPLID

You will need 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, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic 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 425 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: Potatoes may take little longer to cook than other veggies. Remove the veggies that are cooked and continue with the process.

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 425 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: Potatoes may take little longer to cook than other veggies. Remove the veggies that are cooked and continue with the process.

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. 

Pic Shown: Oven roasted 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. 

HOW TO MAKE BAINGAN CHOKHA (BHARTA)

STEP BY STEP process of making Baingan Chokha.

ROASTING VEGGIES

Using one of the methods discussed earlier, roast the veggies, until slightly charred.

Once the veggies are cool, remove the skin of the veggies, and place the veggies in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the garlic pods and add it to the bowl.

 

 

Using a potato masher, mash the veggies to a desired consistency. 

 

 

Add chopped onion (optional), green chili, grated ginger, handful of fresh cilantro, green garlic (optional), freshly squeezed lemon juice and PINK HIMALAYAN SALT 

SKIP THIS STEP IF ADDING TEMPERING – Add mustard oil or for milder flavor use olive oil, mix well.

 

 

 

 

FOR TEMPERING (OPTIONAL)

Heat some mustard oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add PANCH PURAN spice mix, DRIED WHOLE RED CHILI and ASAFOETIDA Turn OFF the heat. Add the tempering over tomato chokha. Mix well. 

Garnish with some fresh cilantro and serve Baingan Chokha with some AVOCADO LITTI, TOMATO CHOKHA, DHABA (RESTAURANT) STYLE DAL FRY,GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, jaggery and some salad. YUM!!!

PRO TIPS FOR THE BEST BAINGAN CHOKHA

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

Potatoes can be boiled or roasted. We like the roasted potatoes in the chokha, however, feel free to use boiled potatoes instead.

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

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.

Traditionally, mustard oil is added raw to the chokha for the robust flavor. However, you can heat the oil and add it, works just fine. For milder flavor, use olive oil instead. 

Lemon juice adds freshness and also adds a hint of tanginess to the chokha. Well balance of sweet and tangy relish. You can also use lime juice works just fine or some DRIED MANGO POWDER

Green chili adds the heat to the chokha. You can also add some red chili powder.

We like the flavor of raw onions in the chokha, however you can also saute the onions before adding it to the chokha.

Pic Shown: Baingan Chokha (Bharta)

 

 

 

VARIATIONS TO THIS BAINGAN CHOKHA

Traditionally, raw mustard oil is used for robust flavor. Some may not like the pungent flavor of mustard oil. You can heat the oil and add it to the chokha or use some olive oil for a milder flavor.

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

Instead of roasted garlic raw garlic may be substituted, however, roasted garlic adds a sweeter, milder garlic taste to the chokha.

Roasted red bell pepper, adds a nice smoky, sweet, peppery flavor to the chokha. Roast the red bell pepper, peel the skin and discard the seeds. Chop the bell pepper and add it to the chokha.

FAQ ABOUT BAINGAN CHOKHA

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.

HOW TO SERVE BAINGAN CHOKHA – Chokha can be served warm or at room temperature. Serve Baingan Chokha with some AVOCADO LITTI, TOMATO CHOKHA , DHABA (RESTAURANT) STYLE DAL FRY, GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, jaggery and some salad

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

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

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

Before serving chokha reheat the chokha and add 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 chokha. However, at home we use oven method for the same.

Pic Shown: Top left – GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY, Top right – BAINGAN CHOKHA, Center – TOMATO CHOKHA, Bottom – AVOCADO LITTI

 

 

 

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RELATED POSTS
LITTI
TOMATO CHOKHA
DHABA (RESTAURANT) STYLE DAL FRY
GREEN GARLIC CILANTRO CHUTNEY

 

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Baingan Chokha

Chokha or bharta is a popular dish from Indian subcontinent. Chokha or a dip, is made with roasted mashed veggies, some herbs and mustard oil. This simple, zestful, smoky relish, pairs well with LITTI, poori, paratha or as a dipping. This dish is VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, and LOW-FAT.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bihari, Indian
Keyword chokha,litti chokha,baingan chokha,baingan aloo chokha,smashed eggplant,baingan bharta,roasted eggplant, instant pot,air fryer,oven baked,tandoor, stove top, healthy recipes,vegan, vegetarian, low-carb,nut-free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jyoti Behrani

Ingredients

FOR BAIGAN CHOKHA

  • 1 medium baingan (eggplant)
  • 1 large aloo (potato), cut into half (optional)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 green chili, chopped, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon PINK HIMALAYAN SALT
  • 1 tablespoon mustard or olive oil
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Few fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 stem Garlic greens, white and greens chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 lemon juice, adjust to taste
  • salt to taste

TEMPERING (OPTIONAL)

FOR GARNISH

  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Instructions

  • 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.

AIR FRYER / INSTANT POT ROASTED VEGGIES USING MEALTHY CRISPLID

  • You will need MEALTHY CRIPSLIDTONGS
  • 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, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic 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.
    Note: 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 425 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: Potatoes may take little longer to cook than other veggies. Remove the veggies that are cooked and continue with the process.
    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 SHEETTONGS
  • Arrange the veggies on a 9*13 inches baking sheet. Brush the veggies with some oil.
  • Preheat the oven at BROIL or 425 degree Fahrenheit.
  • 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: Potatoes may take little longer to cook than other veggies. Remove the veggies that are cooked and continue with the process.
    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.

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

HOW TO MAKE BAINGAN CHOKHA (BHARTA)

  • ROASTING VEGGIES - Using one of the methods discussed earlier, roast the veggies, until slightly charred.
  • Once the veggies are cool, remove the skin of the veggies, and place the veggies in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the garlic pods and add it to the bowl.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the veggies to a desired consistency.
  • Add chopped onion (optional), green chili, grated ginger, handful of fresh cilantro, green garlic (optional), freshly squeezed lemon juice and PINK HIMALAYAN SALT Mix well
  • SKIP THIS STEP IF ADDING TEMPERING – Add mustard oil or for milder flavor use olive oil. Mix well.

FOR TEMPERING (OPTIONAL)

Notes

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

 

 

 

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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