A really simple eggplant curry that works well as a curry with rice or naan, or just eat it as a dip (which is what I like to do!). This one is a favourite of meat eaters and veggie lovers alike!
The best way to cook bengan ka bharta
In my opinion, the flavour of the eggplant really comes alive when you roast the eggplant before turning it into this tangy sweet curry. Ideally you can roast the eggplant on the BBQ.
If I happen to be BBQ-ing on the weekend, I’ll try and throw an eggplant or two on the grill while it is going, that way I can have grilled eggplant ready to go to make a quick bharta at some point in the week.
The bharta (curry) part comes together very quickly, in less than 15 minutes, once you have the eggplant ready to go. So it makes a great weeknight meal.
Vegan Friendly Bengan Ka Bharta
This eggplant bharta is very easily made vegan friendly. My mom likes to add a tablespoon of yogurt to the curry at the very end to give it an extra creamy texture. But you can totally skip this and it will still be an amazing bharta. Or take it up a notch and try adding a teaspoon of tamarind paste to give your bharta an extra tangy flavour! The tanginess of the tamarind or yogurt in this curry works really well with the sweetness of the eggplant.
How do you like to eat your baingan ka bharta?
Easy Bengan Ka Bharta (Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Veg)
- 5 tbsp oil, divided (canola or avocado oil)
- 1 large whole eggplant (I prefer european eggplant for this recipe)
- 2 medium tomato, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium green chilli, diced (optional)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- pinch black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp yogurt (optional, skip this to make it vegan or whole30, or try adding 1 tsp of tamarind paste instead for an added tangy flavour)
Prepare the Eggplant
- Preheat oven to 400F or if you prefer to use a BBQ, then preheat your grill.
- Wash the eggplant and pierce with a fork several times all over. Drizzle with some oil and rub all over to coat.
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until the skin looks blistered all over. If using a BBQ, place the eggplant on the grill, and turn occasionally to ensure even blistering all over the skin while it cooks.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- When it is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off, and chop off the stem end. Cut the eggplant flesh into small pieces and set aside.
Prepare the Curry
- In a large saucepan, heat 4 tbsp oil on medium heat.
- Add the diced onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent and soften.
- Add 1 tbsp minced garlic and chopped green chillies, if using. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant and add the diced tomatoes. Cover and cook 5 minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
- If the tomato mixture is looking a bit dry, add a splash of water (about 1/4 cup) to help the tomatoes breakdown into the curry.
- Add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for 1 minute, and then add the roasted eggplant flesh.
- Cook for 5 minutes to allow the eggplant to breakdown into the curry. Again, if it looks a bit too dry, add a splash of water. Taste and adjust salt and spice to your liking.
- Add the chopped cilantro leaves and 1 tbsp of yogurt and cook for final 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and serve immediately with rice, naan, or even as a warm dip.