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Baingan Bhurtha {A Punjab Eggplant Recipe}

Baingan Bhurtha {A Punjab Eggplant Recipe}

My friend Misbah from cupcakeluvs posted this interesting recipe the other day. It caught my eye because I have a bunch of eggplant from my mom’s garden that need to get used up soon, and I wanted to try something new and different–this is definitely very different from anything I’ve ever cooked before!

This is what Misbah says about the dish:

Baingan Bhurtha or Baingan ka Bhartha is a vegetable dish fro the Punjab  traditonally made by roasting the whole aubergine/eggplant in fire/oven to give the dish a smokey flavor, then removing the skin and frying the  ggplant meat with tomatoe, onion, chili and spices. a kind of roasted eggplant mash. My bhurta is made a little differently and is more a kind of raita then bhurta. Baingan Bhurtha is eaten with roti or pratha (butter baked flatbread).

My Bhurtha is  even a little more different than hers, mostly because I didn’t have everything on hand (like Nigella seed). So I made a couple substitutions and guesses because I am not all that familiar with the spices she used, but I did have a couple Indian spices in my pantry that a friend gave to me. I’m very pleased with the result. It has a smoky, buttery, creamy taste with exotic Indian spices and a little bit of a kick to it from the peppers. It is kind of mushy, like a spread, as eggplant dishes tend to be, with a little crunch from the mustard seed. Perhaps you could call it American-ized Bhurtha? This is what happens when a South Dakota girl tries to make Indian food!

The only flatbread I had on hand was my New York Style pizza crust, so I toasted one of those up and tried the Bhurta with that. Punjab meets New York! I figure if you have some eggplant on hand and you are wondering what to do with it, why not be a little adventurous and try something totally new and different? It’s good to play in the kitchen.

Baingan Bhurtha {A Punjab Eggplant Recipe}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Baingan Bhurtha {A Punjab Eggplant Recipe}


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Panch Phoran
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2 fresh green chile peppers (I used 1 ancho, 1 jalapeno because I didn't have any fresh green chile on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafetida (don't ask me why I threw this in ... I just wanted a little more taste and I found this in my cupboard and thought it would be a good addition ... and it was!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large eggplant, fire roasted, peeled and chopped (I had about 1 1/4 cups chopped eggplant)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt (she used 6 Tablespoons plain yogurt, but this is all I had on hand ... )


  1. Fire or oven roast the eggplant. To fire roast: poke it with a fork in a couple places and place it on a hot grill. Roast until the skin is charred black and the eggplant is very limp and soft, turning to make sure all sides are roasted evenly. To oven roast: slice into thin slices, place on a baking sheet, spray with cooking oil and roast at 400 for about 10 minutes or until very soft. Let the eggplant cool until it is cool enough to touch, then peel and chop the eggplant.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and the panch phoran and cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  3. Add the onions and fresh chili peppers and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Add the eggplant, cumin, chili powder, asafetida, and salt and cook a few more minutes till the eggplant is heated through.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro leaves. Let it cool a bit, then stir in the yogurt.
  6. Serve with flatbread and Dal, if you have it. I just spread it on flatbread and topped with cilantro leaves. That was a tasty lunch for me!

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayFresh Foods Wednesday and All my Bloggy Friends.

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3 Responses

  1. Ann, your Baingan Bhurtha looks beautiful. I am so happy to tried it and liked. Thankyou <3. I love that you use panch puran masala. That only makes it more tasty. Much love Misbah

    October 24, 2012 at 1:00 am

  2. not gonna lie – not a fan of eggplant. but the way this is prepared could make it edible for me haha. beautiful photos btw!

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Blog Hop! i hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & real/fresh foods posts. xo, kristy

    October 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

  3. Pingback: » Fire Roasting Tomatoes, Peppers &/or Eggplant Sumptuous Spoonfuls