Eggplant Bharta served.

Aromatic and Smoky Eggplant Bharta

Fire-roasted eggplant, tenderly simmered with an aromatic medley of onions and spices, pay a heartfelt tribute to this version of Eggplant Bharta. The delicate smokiness and creaminess of eggplant melds with the vibrant essence of fresh tomatoes and neon-hued peas. Finished with fragrant cilantro and a squeeze of zesty lime, we capture rustic elegance and bold flavors; gracing everyday meals and special gatherings.

Eggplant bharta with rice.

Chronicles of Cardamom – Queen of Spices

Cardamom is a zesty spice used in sweet and savory dishes and is a popular ingredient in teas. It has a fresh, peppery, and aromatic scent that is similar to cinnamon, lemon, and eucalyptus.

Cardamom, part of the Zingiberaceae family, is a treasured fruit from a tropical plant closely related to ginger. Among the world’s most valuable spices, it stands alongside saffron and vanilla. And holds the title of queen of spice.

The journey from plantation to plate is rigorous and demanding. Cultivating cardamom required substantial effort. Tall plants flourish on Guatemalan or Indian plantations, blossoming for eight to nine months annually. Each pod matures gradually, demanding careful plucking at three-quarters of ripeness.

Once cardamom pods find their way into the hands of cooks worldwide, they transform everyday dishes into extraordinary culinary marvels. The distinct cardamom flavor elevates everything to a another level.

Grocery and Pantry List for Eggplant Bharta Recipe

  • Eggplant: Use firm and meaty eggplants.
  • Onion: My first preference is the red onion but any kind of onion will work for this dish.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger is best. You will need a fingertip-sized piece.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic.
  • Garam masala: Garam masala is a spice blend that is used in Indian cooking and available in stores. You can also make your own blend and adjust it to your own taste.
  • Cardamom: I use whole pods of a cardamom.
  • Ground cumin: Provides the earthy flavor to the dish. Add in the beginning with other aromatics it releases an amazing flavor profile.
  • Ground coriander: Coriander is the cilantro plant’s seed. They are widely available in whole and ground form.
  • Tomatoes: Opt for fresh tomatoes when possible. You can use canned chunky or whole tomatoes as well.
  • Green peas: Fresh or frozen green peas, also known as English peas.
  • Cilantro leaves: Fresh cilantro leave and tender stalks.
  • Lime: Fresh squeezed lime juice brings all the flavors together.
  • Oil or ghee: Use ghee if you want a creamy and buttery flavor. If you want this to be move vegan diet friendly opt for olive, grapeseed, avocado or any vegetable oil you typically cook with.

Eggplant Bharta Recipe Steps at a Glance

This roasted eggplant Bharta recipe can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Roasting eggplant.
  • Making aromatic onions and blooming the spices base.
  • Combining eggplant with onion mixture.

Step-by-step: How to Make Eggplant Bharta

Step 1: Roasting the Eggplant

Wash the eggplant and pierce in a few place with the sharp knife. This will ensure that inside steam can escape otherwise the eggplant can burst and explode.

Roast the eggplant on the grill, or in the oven, starting with broil and then roasting them.

Depending on their size, it will take somewhere between 30 -45 minute to roast the eggplant. It’s done when it passes the skewer test. Test the thicker part of the eggplant, and if skewer goes in and out smoothly, the eggplant is done. Alternatively you give a squeeze test.

Let the eggplant cool in a bag or covered with foil. Once it’s cooled, peel the skin and cut the stem off.

Step 2: Sauté Onions and Bloom the Spices

Add the rapeseed oil into a sauté pan and slowly sauté the onions, until translucent and softened.

Add the garam masala, cumin and let them bloom with the onions. 

Next add the minced ginger and garlic and sauté for a minute until everything is mixed together.

Step 3: Stewing and Final Cooking

Chop the previously roasted peeled-chopped eggplants and add to the onion mixture. Season with salt and add cardamom pods. 

Give it all a good stir and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Cover and continue cooking on low heat until tomatoes are melted into the eggplants.

Stir in the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Lastly add the chopped cilantro and fresh squeeze of a lime juice.

Eggplant Bharta S12 6

Best ways to serve Eggplant Bharta

  • Serve with cumin rice
  • Serve with chickpea flour crepe
  • Serve in individual baking, ramekin dish
  • Serve with naan bread

Tips and wisdom from Cafe Osharak

  • Fire-roasting the eggplants adds a smoky depth to this dish. Char the eggplant skin initially for that distinct flavor. You can roast the eggplants on the grill or under the broiler setting in the oven. If using the oven, rotate them a couple of times to ensure even charring. Then, lower the heat to allow the eggplant to cook thoroughly. Personally, I prefer charring them stovetop in a cast iron skillet. This way, I have more control and can closely monitor the blistering of the skin..
  • Making the aromatic mixture is essential. Slowly sautéing the onions imparts a mellow flavor. Layering in aromatics like coriander and cumin seeds, garlic, and ginger creates a robust flavor base. I also add half of the garam masala in the beginning to this onion base.
  • Creating your ground spices is a rewarding step. While pre-ground spices are convenient, I always recommend keeping whole spices in your pantry. Toasting and grinding them as needed unlocks a fresher taste. Working with whole spices gives you the freedom to craft your own spice blends, such as the garam masala used in this recipe.
  • While using fresh cilantro, use both tender stalks and leaves. The stalks are sweeter, juicier and have move floral taste.
  • Adding the fresh lime juice to the dish is a must! It harmonizes and brings all the flavors together.

More Recipes to Try from Cafe Osharak

If you try out this recipe, I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you find it delicious and straightforward to prepare. I’m here to answer any questions and welcome any suggestions. Also, don’t forget to explore other recipes from Cafe Osharak that you might love!

More plant based recipes!

Eggplant Bharta

Fire-roasted eggplant, tenderly simmered with an aromatic medley of onions and spices, pay a heartfelt tribute to this version of Eggplant Bharta.
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Eggplant bharta with rice.
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:20 minutes
Course
Main Course
Cuisine
Indian

Ingredients

  • 2 Eggplant roasted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1 piece Ginger 1 inch 2.5 cm long
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2-3 Cardamom whole pods
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 2-3 Tomatoes Sliced
  • 1 cup Green peas Fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 Garam Masala
  • 3-4 Cilantro leave and tender stalks
  • 1 Lime

Instructions

Roasting the Eggplant:

  • Preheat the grill or oven to the broil setting.
  • Wash the eggplant and pierce it in a few places with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape during roasting and prevent bursting.
  • Place the eggplant on the grill or in the oven, and roast for about 30-45 minutes until fully cooked.
  • To check if it's done, insert a skewer into the thicker part of the eggplant – it should go "in and out" smoothly.
  • Alternatively, you can give it a gentle squeeze to test for doneness.
  • Once cooked, remove the eggplant from the heat source and let cool. You can cover with a bag or foil for faster cooling.
  • Once cooled, peel off the skin and cut off the stem.

Sauté Onions and Bloom the Spices:

  • Heat rapeseed oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
    2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 Onion
  • Add the onions and sauté slowly until they become translucent and softened.
  • Stir in the minced ginger and garlic, sautéing for about a minute until everything is well mixed.
    2 cloves Garlic, 1 piece Ginger
  • Sprinkle in the garam masala and cumin, allowing them to bloom with the onions.
    1 teaspoon Garam Masala, 1 teaspoon Ground cumin, 1 teaspoon Ground coriander

Stewing and Final Cooking:

  • Chop the previously roasted, peeled, and chopped eggplants.
    2 Eggplant
  • Add the chopped eggplants to the sautéed onion mixture. Season with salt, pepper and add cardamom pods.
    1 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, 2-3 Cardamom
  • Stir everything together and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, cover the pan, and continue cooking on low heat until the tomatoes meld in with the eggplants.
    2-3 Tomatoes
  • Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
    1 cup Green peas
  • Finally, add the rest of the garam masala, chopped cilantro and squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish.
    1 Garam Masala, 3-4 Cilantro, 1 Lime

Nutrition

Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 600mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 464IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 183kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @osharak.cafe or tag #osharak.cafe!

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