To start making baingan bharta, first, roast the eggplant. Wash it and wipe it with a kitchen towel. Make 8-10 slits in it using a paring knife all over.
Insert one whole peeled garlic clove in each slit. Roasting the garlic cloves along with the eggplant gives a very delicious flavor to this bharta. So do not skip this step.
Keep the eggplant on the direct flame and roast from all the sides on medium heat till the skin is blackened and it is soft from inside. Keep rotating it every 2-3 minutes while roasting. It will take 10-12 minutes to roast it properly. To check if it is roasted well, insert a knife in it. The knife should go inside the pulp easily.
Note – Roasting the eggplant over direct heat gives it a very nice smoky flavor. So I highly recommend roasting it over direct flame. But you can also roast it in an oven, air fryer, or BBQ grill or even steam it in a pressure cooker.
Remove the roasted eggplant from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the burnt skin by peeling it using your fingers. Chop off the top. Wash the peeled eggplant to remove any trace of charred skin. Cut it into half and remove the seeds. Mash the pulp using your fingers, fork, or a potato masher and keep it aside.
Heat 4 tablespoon mustard oil in a pan. A cast iron pan is the best to make this dish.
Note – If mustard oil is not available, you can cook the bharta in any oil.
Add 1 cup chopped onion, and 2 teaspoon chopped green chilies and fry on medium heat till translucent.
Add 2 teaspoon grated ginger and cook for another minute.
Now add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until mushy. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
Add 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder, ½ teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon dry mango powder, and salt to taste along with ½ cup of water and fry for a minute.
Add ¼ cup green peas and eggplant mash and mix well. Cook on high heat for a minute or two. Keep mashing with the back of the ladle.
Note – If using frozen pea, wash and drain them before adding them to the pan. If using fresh peas, cook them in water until tender, drain and add to the pan.
Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped coriander and serve hot.
Use plump large sized eggplant to make Baingan Bharta. Make sure they are the variety with fewer seeds.Roasting the eggplant over direct flame gives the best flavor to this dish. However, if you do not have access to direct flame, you can roast it in an oven or air fryer too.Discard the large seeds after roasting the eggplant. Also, check for worms inside the pulp.You can also boil the eggplant to make the bharta but trust me, the taste will be only mediocre.To check if eggplant is cooked from inside, insert a knife in it. If the knife passes through easily, it means it is done.Mustard oil gives a lovely pungent flavor to this dish, however, you can cook it in any other oil too.Adding peas in your baingan bharta is totally optional. You can always skip adding them.You can make a mix of potato and eggplant bharta too. This baingan aloo bharta tastes equally delicious. Roast the potatoes along with baingan to make this bharta.Roasting a few garlic along with eggplant gives it a nice depth of flavor. I make a few slits in the eggplant and insert garlic cloves in these slits. This way, they get roasted along with the eggplant.You can add fresh chopped methi or even Kasuri methi in the recipe if you wish to.You can also add cooked mutton mince in this bharta and make baingan mutton bharta. Add more spices as mentioned below if using mutton as well.