Herby and fresh, this smoky roasted eggplant bharta will convert non- eggplant lovers. Bharta refers to anything "smashed" in hindi and here it is the consistency of roasted eggplant. Full of robust flavor of garlic, ginger, raw mustard oil and fresh herbs, this bharta is an old family recipe.
Originally, this bharta was made during winters, on Makar Sankrati day along with khichdi but here in the States, the eggplant season starts mid July - August so I prefer making it more during summer time. Its really fresh, not much cooking is involved and the fresher the eggplant, the better the taste! I have changed the recipe a bit from how it used to be to fit our tastes and convenience. In those days, the herb mixture was prepared on sil batta (stone grinder) but I use food processor for the same. Secondly the garlic and ginger were added raw, but I add them to hot oil before mixing in.
This is a very easy recipe and you can do the little prep that is needed while the eggplant is roasting. You need lots of herbs, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Its super fresh and very light, like I mentioned. Mustard oil is a very prominent flavor here, however if you don't want to consume it, use olive oil. Mind you, the taste will be different.
Hara Baigan Bharta/Herby roasted eggplant
- 1 large italian eggplant
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro with stems, roughly chopped
- 4 scallion stalks, roughly chopped
- 10-12 fresh mint leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon mustard oil, to be added raw
- 1.5 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1.5 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 Thai bird green chillies, adjust to taste
- Rinse the eggplant very well and dry with a paper towl. Roast the eggplant on direct fire until its skin is charred and its soft and fleshy. You can grill on outdoor grill or roast the the eggplant in oven as well.
- Let eggplant cool slightly, peel off the skin, little bits of chared skin is okay. Add the peeled eggplant to a bowl and mash it using a fork.
- While the eggplant is roasting, add all the fresh herbs + 2 garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse 6-7 times.
- Add the processed herbs to the eggplant along wirg salt, lime juice and 1 teaspoon raw mustard oil.
- In a small pan, warm up 1.5 tablespoon mustard oil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add chopped ginger & garlic, chilies and cumin seeds.
- Immediately add on top of eggplant and mix well until everything is combined. Taste and adjust the salt.
- Let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!