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Easy Bengan Ka Bharta (Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Veg)

A simple eggplant curry or dip.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: pakistani
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, keto, Paleo, sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

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.