Hara Baingan Bharta/Herby Roasted Eggplant

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

Smoky and herby eggplant dish made with roasted eggplant, ginger, garlic and lots of herbs. This light vegan eggplant dish comes together very quickly and is perfect for summer meals.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 servings


  • 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 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp mustard oil, to be added raw
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1.5 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp 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 tsp raw mustard oil.
  • In a small pan, warm up 1.5 tbsp 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!

43 thoughts on “Hara Baingan Bharta/Herby Roasted Eggplant

  1. I’ve never seen an Indian eggplant dish like this. It looks so good!

    I’ll need to make it very soon, however, I think I’ll end up skipping the mustard oil just because I probably couldn’t find it. Is there another oil that would work as a substitute, or possibly mustard paste or powder with oil?

  2. Hi Tanvi – Thanks for suggesting sesame or olive oil. I think there is a small Indian grocer in my area but Ie didn’t see mustard oil whn I was last there (where I learned that . I might check again or just use the sesame oil (I have lots of that!).

  3. What a bright and beautifully vibrant dish! It must be extra special to be made only once a year. I loved hearing about your memory of eating in the garden – how lovely!

  4. I am never an eggplant lover mainly when it comes to the charring process…But if my hubby sees this dish he will surely jump in the screen and goble it up…….

    • Kamalika,
      My husband is your brother and I m your husband’s sister going by what you say…I hope that makes some sense 🙂

  5. Tanvi, am super interested in kaali urad dal khichdi, sorry but do you plan to cook? looking fwd :P..loved 1st and 3rd pic! oh yes i know grinding in sil -batta bring amazing texture and best is the taste, as these modern mixer change the real taste from the heat produced by motor…..but can’t we import them to our NRI’s home? 😉

    • You know what Ananda, I had no plans of making khichdi but your question has put me to second thoughts 🙂

  6. Tanvi, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful memory of your grandmother’s home and winter meals as a child. I will be sharing it on my hearth and soul hop highlights on my thoughts on friday at a moderate life because I find it such a joy to hear how other’s grew up and grew to love food! Thanks for linking to the hearth and soul hop again this week! alex@amoderatelife

  7. Delicious Everyday – Freelance food photographer & stylist. Portfolio at http://www.jenniferlschmidt.com Vegetarian food blogger at Delicious Everyday http://www.deliciouseveryday.com/
    delicieux on said:

    This looks fantastic, it’s just a pity my boyfriend won’t go near eggplant so it’s sort of pointless making this just for me. 🙂

  8. What a vibrant, colourful spicy dish. Sounds delicious! My grandmother used a sil-bata (in Malaysia). I used to love watching her, this tiny woman, grabbing the large stone and rolling it back and forth to make spicy pastes for the curries. I don’t know what’s happened to that stone, I wish I had it. Thanks for bringing back memories.

  9. Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen – Indiana, USA – Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food.
    girlichef on said:

    Grrr…you kids and your modern appliances 😉 LOL! This sounds fabulous…I love the color of it, too. I am so in love with Indian food right now. Thank you for sharing this with the hearth and soul hop this week 🙂

  10. Now that the weather has cooled just a touch, my cilantro is making a comeback, and I’d really love to give this recipe a go. Thanks for sharing with with the Hearth and Soul hop. Your posts are always so wonderful and a perfect fit for the spirit of the hop.

  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention Hara Baingan Bharta /Spicy Mashed Roasted Eggplant | Sinfully Spicy -- Topsy.com

  12. I never knew that we can roast baingan in oven also thanks dear ….this green dish is attracting me a lot….I bet this would have tasted well also….very nice shots dear

    Hamaree Rasoi

  13. I felt like I was in your granny’s garden and I know I would love this dish! Thank you for sharing it with us at the hearth and soul hop!

  14. Pingback: Thoughts on Friday Foodie News, Inspiration and links roundup | A Moderate Life

  15. I really enjoyed reading your post. And this recipe looks soooo good! You write with similar devotion to food that my best friend does. In fact, I am sending her a link to your blog so she knows what I mean. Thanks for linking at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!

  16. Pingback: Baingan Bharta (Smoky Mashed Eggplant) – Guest Post for Rosa of Rosa’s Yummy Yums | Sinfully Spicy

  17. I love bharta and make it quite often but never tried to grind the cilantro and add it in. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Love your recipes and l might have mentioned earlier but I do love cooking in mustard oil and the unique flavor that it imparts.

  18. I tried this tonight and it was fantastic. You are absolutely right about the unique flavor that mustard oil contributes to the dish. The only thing I changed was that I doubled the aamchur powder. Thank you.

Leave a Reply