Simple Vegetarian Indian Dinner: Eggplant Bharta and Dahl

Here is a simple vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free meal you can make that’s tasty and super healthy. For years now I’ve had an ambivalent relationship with eggplant. But thanks to Janet who passed on this eggplant bharta recipe on facebook from the folks over at, I’ve been able to happily resolve my inability to make eggplant taste great.

I served this with basmati rice, red lentil dahl and a salad with parsely, cilantro, red onion, tomato, lemon juice, salt and a dash of oil.

Eggplant Bharta

Eggplant Bharta
1 large eggplant
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled (I used 4 cloves)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 green chilli, finely sliced
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2-1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garam masala

Set the grill (or broiler) in your oven to high. Place the whole eggplant under the grill and leave it there until the area nearest the heat darkens. Using tongs, gently turn the eggplant slightly by its stem and let the new hot spot darken. Keep rotating until the entire eggplant is scorched. This should take 20-25 minutes. Be patient!

Remove the eggplant, put it on a plate and take it to the sink. Put it under cold running water and peel the blackened skin off of the eggplant. Drank and shake off as much water as you can.

Put the onion, ginger and garlic in a blender 3 Tbsp or so of water and blend to a paste at high speed. (Mine wouldn’t blend with 3 tbs so I ended up having to use at least double that)

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. While heating, pour in the onion paste and add the turmeric. Fry until the mixture startes to brown, about 5 minutes, then add the green chilli and cilantro and fry another 1 minute. Then add the tomatoes, lower the flame, and simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, add the eggplant, salt, lemon juice and garam masala. Raise the flame to medium, and fry for 10-15 minutes.

To serve, remove the bharta to a warm dish and serve sprinkled with green coriander.

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Filed under Asian - Curries, Recipes

4 responses to “Simple Vegetarian Indian Dinner: Eggplant Bharta and Dahl

  1. Rakastan syödä keksejä

    Irony of ironies – I have no allergies. Yet, recently I was informed that the tingling burning sensation on my lips is a slight allergic reaction to…..EGGPLANT! And I thought it was just my great company!

    Still love to prepare ratatouille, raita, bharta and eggplant parmesan.

    Fortunate for me it is a mild reaction. your recipe is great!

  2. Pingback: Vikram Vij’s boatman’s curry (Prawn Curry) | Condofire

  3. Kristen

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cooked your chili recipe… I love it!! Now I want to try this one… But one question.. How do you cut up the eggplant. Into chunks? Thanks!!

    • HI Kristen,
      It’s so funny that you mention that chili recipe. I was going to cook a new chili recipe (black bean and squash) when I realized my squash was bad – so I more or less made up this chili which ended up with kale in it – I sat there eating it thinking how much I had just followed the original recipe! Now, as for the eggplant, it should be pretty mushy by the time you take it out of the oven. You’ll roast it whole and then peel off the skin and the inside will be quite soft. Let me know how it works out for you! Tess

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