Baingan Bharta

Appearances can be deceiving, so at first glance, it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of Baingan Bharta, the vegetarian dish from Northern India. While this mixture may resemble a simple, unassuming vegetable stew, don’t be fooled! The harmonious blend of char-broiled eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños, gloriously paired with aromatic garam masala, ginger, and garlic, infuse a smoky, rich, spicy, creamy flavor to this delicious vegetarian meal.

My version of Baingan Bharta couldn’t be easier. After the vegetables are broiled, peeled, and chopped together on a sheet tray, they’re transferred to a skillet with aromatics that have fragrantly bloomed together in ghee. Golden raisins balance the dish, adding a touch of sweetness, while roasted cashews lend just the right amount of crunch.

The biggest compliment I ever received was when I served this version of Baingan Bharta for the first time at a Fine Cooking Magazine tasting. We had a guest in the test kitchen that day who told me my recipe was more flavorful than the one on the menu at the Indian restaurant where she worked. I thought, “Wow, it doesn’t get much better than this!”

Since then, I’ve taught this dish in many cooking classes, and the typical reaction from the group is surprise and delight. After just one bite, most of my students responded as I did at the tasting, exclaiming, “Wow! It doesn’t get much better than this.”

Download the Recipe PDF

Let me know if you try my recipe, or make a version of your own!

—Chef Diana

Giving credit where credit is due:
Food Styling: Ronne Day (banner image)
Photography: Scott Phillips (banner image)
Videography: Russ Murray / @remages

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