Baingan Da Bharta is a classic Punjabi subzi (with other variations), it also happens to be my most favorite Indian dish, and no one makes it as good as my Mom. The irony is, this is the best dish my Mom makes, however she hates Bharta. It is beyond me how someone can possibly hate Bharta? Actually, I know the story behind why she hates Bharta, but I’ll not gross you out.
For the longest time I was intimidated to make Bharta. I assumed the Eggplant had to be roasted, not necessary. Although, roasting the eggplant is the ideal way to make this Baingan ka Bharta, my Mom pressure cooks the eggplant. The results are the same! I tried roasting the eggplant once and the inside of the eggplant was not soft; I quickly gave up. Most people make this dish with tons of oil, my version has 2 tablespoons.
After years and years, my Mom finally made this dish in front of me, earlier our timing never matched 🙂 So here goes… my Mom’s famous Bhingan ka Bharta and my most favorite Indian dish. It goes best with plain Parathas, however I also eat this dish with Roti, Naan, Rice, and toasted Bread, yes! It is KICK-ASS!!!
NUTRITION: Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamins A and C. Eggplant is a very good source of Fiber and Vitamin B1 (Thiamin).
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Eggplant – 1 big (cut off the skin)
- Red Onions – 2 medium (chopped)
- Plum Tomatoes – 6 (chopped) or you can use 4 Regular Tomatoes
- Red Chili Powder – 2.5 tsp (use 2 if you can’t handle spice)
- McCormick Paprika- 2 tsp (this adds color, not spice)
- salt to taste
1. Take an eggplant and cut the skin off as follows:
2. Cut the eggplant in half, place the eggplant in the pressure cooker, fill with water so half the eggplant is submerged.
3. Pressure cook on medium-high heat until you hear the first whistle go off. Should take about 15-20 minutes.
NOTE: Be careful when handling pressure cookers, they can be dangerous!
4. In the meantime, chop the onions and tomatoes.
5. Remember to check on the pressure cooker, turn it off after 1 whistle.
6. Heat a pot on medium, add oil, add onions, and salt.
7. After a few minutes, add 1 tsp red chili powder and 1 tsp paprika. This will add color to the onions.
8. Cook the onions until caramelized (golden-brown). This will take about 5-10 minutes.
9. Now add tomatoes and salt.
10. Add 1 tsp red chili powder and 1/2 tsp paprika.
11. Cover and simmer on low-medium heat (dial #4). Cook this for about 20-30 minutes until the onions and tomatoes have combined. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning.
12. Check on the eggplant! This is what you should have. Check to see if it is fork-tender.
13. Now place the eggplant in a strainer and rinse it.
14. Place the eggplant in a bowl and mash it with a fork. You should not have to apply any pressure.
15. Back to the onion-tomato mixture. After 20-30 minutes, this is what you should have. It is not important to have a paste consistency, just make sure the onions and tomatoes have combined.
16. Add the eggplant, salt, and combine.
17. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes. This will slowly combine all the flavors, in addition, the color will darken. Keep stirring in between.
18. After 30 minutes or so, add 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp red chili powder. The chili powder is optional.
Notice how there is water. The next step is to allow the water to evaporate.
19. DON’T COVER and cook on low (dial #3) cook for another 30 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. This is what you should have. See how little it makes, you can never have enough Bharta!