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Aubergine Bharta

A smoky mashed aubergine dish.

Suitable for vegetarians

Aubergine Bharta


Aubergine Bharta or Baingan Bharta is a mashed aubergine dish from North India. It’s a great dish to scoop up with parathas and works well served alongside Palak Paneer or Dum Aloo.

To get the authentic, smoky flavour, the aubergine would be cooked over coals, however this maybe isn't that practical for your mid-week suppers! We’ve simply cooked the aubergine under the grill; however, if you have a gas hob, it can be cooked directly on the flame (once the weather has warmed up try cooking it on your BBQ).

  1. Put the whole aubergine under a hot grill and cook for around 30 minutes (turning 2 or 3 times during the cooking). When ready, the skin should be blackened and crispy and a knife should slide easily through the soft interior. Leave to cool for 10 - 15 minutes.
  2. Once cooled, peel away the skin (it should come off easily) or cut it in half and scoop out the soft flesh. Mash the flesh coarsely and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot, then add the cumin seeds. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes.
  4. Add the onions and fry (stirring from time to time) over a medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes, until soft.
  5. Add the garlic and chilli, and continue cooking for a further 1 - 2 minutes.
  6. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and turmeric, then mix and cook for 1 minute. If the powders start to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water.
  7. Add in the tomato and cook for another 4 -5 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened. You should end up with a thick mixture.
  8. Finally, add in the mashed aubergine and mix everything together. Season to taste with salt.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature and garnish with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.