Baingan Bartha (Southern)

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Baingan Bartha (Southern)
Category: Indian recipes
Servings: 4
Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
| Indian Cuisine | Vegetarian

Baingan bartha is an eggplant (aubergine) dish much loved all over India. This southern version of the dish is much different from northern varieties, and well suited to the cuisine of the region.



  1. Roast the eggplant directly over a low flame - don't be afraid to set it right on the gas burner - turning it regularly until the skin becomes blackened and brittle and the flesh soft (about 15-20 minutes).
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. Grind the chillies, coconut and coriander together in a food processor to form a paste.
  4. Peel the eggplant skin off and mash the flesh to a uniform pulp by hand.
  5. Mix in the coconut paste (and optionally you can then add curds), along with salt to taste.

Serve with chapatis, dosa or rice.


Baingan bartha is commonly produced with:

  • coriander (seeds)
  • cilantro (leaves, from the same plant, and thus sometimes confusingly called coriander as well)
  • both coriander and cilantro

The "1 cup chopped" in this recipe is suggestive of cilantro, but this is not at all certain.

Maharashtrian Method

  • 1-2 Large eggplants
  • Handful and some more finely chopped green onion including green leaves of it
  • (If available and you like- 2 or 3 teaspoons of finely chopped green garlic with its leaves)
  • 1/4 cup fresh peas
  • 1-2 green chilies broken into 2/3 pieces each
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (Optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (Optional)
  • Sufficient amount of oil + Cumin seeds + Rai
  • Salt to taste

There are two methods for bharta:

Raw Method
  1. Wash, then wipe dry eggplant. Apply some oil on the surface of each one of them.
  2. Roast eggplants over the direct heat (Alternatively , Char-grill in an oven or over a wood / Charcoal fire to infuse smoke)
  3. Once the skin is blackened and comes away on touch , let them cool a bit and then peel the burnt skin. Reserve the drip also.
  4. Mash the flesh with hand and make it smooth. Put this in a large bowl.
  5. Add green onion (garlic if you have), green peas and salt.
  6. Heat some oil in the pan. Once heated sufficiently add rai >> cumin seeds >> green chilies. Let chilies to fry for 10/12 seconds.
  7. Pour this mix on to the flesh mix in the bowl. Mix well and serve with bhakri and thecha/ kharda
Fry Method
  1. Steps 1 till 5 same as above.
  2. In the step 6 above add turmeric after chilies then add the flesh to the pan of tadka. Sautè for some time say 1/2 mins. If required add some of the reserved drip to moist the bharta.
  3. Serve hot.
Kharda (Accompaniment)
  1. Wash and dry about 10/15 green chilies and half handful of coriander. Peel 5/7 cloves of garlic; break the chilies in to 2/3 pieces each.
  2. Heat about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp of oil on the griddle (tava)
  3. Once heated sufficiently add chilies and garlic (make sure you have exhaust turned on and working!)
  4. Fry them for sometime say 30/40 sec over low heat. Turn the heat off. Now add salt to taste. Put this mix in a blender along with chopped coriander and blend it. NOT in a paste but roughly.
  5. Thecha is ready to serve. While serving put some raw groundnut oil on each serving. This is very very hot dish depending the chilies used. Eat and handle carefully!
Easy Recipe 
serves 4
  • 2 Medium Dutch Aubergines
  • 100 Gm Tomato Paste or 4 medium ripe tomatoes finely diced
  • 1 Medium Spanish Onion Chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/3 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2-3 Coriander Stems Finely chopped, Reserve the chopped leaves as garnish
  • Chopped Green Chilli per taste
  • Salt per taste
  1. Peel and Steam the Aubergine till the flesh is tender.Mash and reserve.
  2. Heat some Oil (use mustard oil or a blend for best results) and add Mustard and Cumin seeds.Saute for 10 seconds and add finely chopped Garlic and Ginger.Saute till the ginger / garlic turn yellow.
  3. Add Chopped Onion and saute till the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the Aubergine Mash,Turmeric Powder, Coriander Stem and Tomato Paste with Salt.
  5. cook on medium heat for 20 mins.
  6. Garnish with chopped Coriander and serve
  7. To smoke the Bharta for a more robust flavour, light a small piece of charcoal and place it over a piece of foil placed inside the dish.Pour about 1/4 teaspoon of oil and cover the dish immediately.Leave to infuse.