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Friday, February 24, 2012

Baingan ka Bartha / Eggplant Chutney

Eggplant Chutney / Baingan Ka Bhartha!!! Hmmm just by thinking of it, my mouth is watering already! I have always enjoyed my MIL’s preparation of Bhartha, but never ventured into preparing this dish until last year, when I discovered the North Karnataka version!! We had a friend visiting us from there for few days. When she saw the fresh Eggplants, she volunteered to prepare it in North Karnataka Style. I can never forget the taste even after nearly a year. The secret behind that taste is, she actually pounded each ingredient meticulously by hand and kept it raw, except the roasted eggplant.  I have tried this recipe several times now and never got the same taste!! That is because I don’t take the pains in pounding each ingredient, and always look for shortcuts to reduce the time it takes to cook :P.  But I encourage you to pound each ingredient, if you want the authentic taste, it is worth all the effort!!

Eggplant / Baingan ka Bhartha
Preperation Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6-7 persons
Eggplant – 2 large and roasted
Whole Jeera/Cumin 1 ½ tbsp
Red Chili powder 2 tbsp
Garlic peeled – 15-20 pods
Tamarind – small size of a lemon
Coriander/Cilantro – ½ bunch
Curry leaves 10-15
Jaggery / sugar 1 tablespoon
Onions chopped finely – 1 large
Oil -1 tbsp
Salt to taste

1.   Apply 1 tsp oil on Eggplant/Baingan and roast it on direct flame on the stove cook top, till the skin turns charred and eggplant turns soft. Once done, peel the charred skin and mash them roughly.
2.   Chop onions, washed Coriander and curry leaves
3.   In a grinding stone, first pound jeera/cumin, add garlic, coriander and curry leaves and pound coarsely.
4.   Add red chili powder, tamarind and pound again, add jiggery /sugar and salt, pound until the spices mix thoroughly. By this time you can smell the aroma of freshly pounded spices.
5.   If the grinding stone is large enough you can add the roasted eggplant and mash roughly until eggplant juices and spice mixes well or you can give it light whip by using your hand or blender.
6.   Heat a pan and add oil. Season it with mustard seed if you like, mix the blended eggplant mixture into it, add chopped onions and mix well.
7.   Serve the spicy and aromatic Eggplant Bhartha with Rice/Roti/Bread.

Since this dish doesn’t require much of cooking, it gives a raw/pungent smell and taste. If you do not like the rawness you can cook it for 5 minutes on low flame to tone down the pungent taste.  When I don’t have much time in hand, I just put all the ingredients in a mixer and grind it coarsely and add the roasted eggplant and give it a whip and follow step 6 directly for convenience. It tastes as good as the original one. J  It keeps well for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator!

Points to Ponder:
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.     Proverbs 12:24 (NIV Bible)


  1. reminded me of my mom & mil, im always left licking my fingers after eating what they cook. this looks great leena :)

  2. wow..this looks amazing....perfect with some hot chapathi...:)

  3. Thanks Deepti and Jisha! finger licking for sure...Yeah, perfect with chapatis or it will make a good sandwich filling too :)


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