Roasted Eggplant – Baingan Bharta

Roasted Eggplant – Baingan Bharta

The smokey flavour of the roasted eggplant enhanced by the tarty sweetness of the seared cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions makes this dish beyond delicious. My recipe is so easy, everything cooks together at one time in the oven and then assembles to perfection. I am a bit of a purist so I don’t use either too much or too many spices – the intense flavours come from the roasted vegetables.

This baingan bharta (roasted eggplant) is infused with spices, roasted tomatoes and onions and can be eaten on it’s own or with quinoa, rice, naan or any flatbread. Use it also as a spread, dip or even a sauce over pasta.

The eggplant, onions, garlic and cherry tomatoes are prepped with oil and all cooked at the same time in the oven. I used separate baking pans to keep things easy. I rubbed the eggplant with oil; infused the onions and garlic with oil and coconut sugar; and smeared the tomatoes with olive oil. The caramelized onions, roasted garlic and seared tomatoes added so many intense flavours to this dish.

Once all the onions, tomatoes and eggplant come out of the oven, fry the sliced ginger and hot peppers to infuse the oil, then add the caramelized onions and smash the roasted garlic cloves, add the seared tomatoes and mix until it turns into a beautiful sauce. Peel and mash the roasted eggplant and add it to the tomato sauce along with any remaining ingredients and mix until all combined.

Roasted Eggplant Bhartha
Roasting the Eggplant
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rub the skin of the eggplant with a little olive oil and pierce it in several spots with a knife (this will stop the eggplant from bursting while roasting). Bake the eggplant in a 375 degrees F oven for 40-45 minutes or until the eggplant is collapsed and soft inside and the skin is all wrinkled and charred.
  3. Remove from the oven and peel off the skin. Place the flesh along with any liquid in a bowl and mash. Set aside until ready to assemble the dish.
Caramelizing the Onions
  1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the sliced onions and peeled garlic cloves in the pan. Sprinkle the sugar and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of oil and toss until everything is evenly slathered with the oil and sugar.
  1. Cover the pan with foil and roast on the middle rack in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing once halfway. Remove foil and continue to cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until soft and golden in colour.
  2. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to assemble the dish.
Searing the Cherry Tomatoes
  1. Line a small oven pan with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes in the pan, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and small sprinkling of salt and toss until the tomatoes are slathered with the oil and salt.
  2. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the tomatoes are blistered and begin the burst.
  3. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to assemble the dish.
Assembling the Dish
  1. Place a heavy pan on medium heat and add the remaining oil (2-3 T). When the oil begins to shimmer, add the ginger slices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the caramelized onions and garlic cloves. Smash the garlic cloves right in the pan until they become a paste and mix well.
  2. Add the salt and the chilies and stir until combined. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes and mix - smash the tomatoes and stir until everything is amalgamated.
  3. Add the mashed eggplant, lemon juice and stir until everything is combined and all the favours are fused together.
  4. Heat until hot. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and serve.
  5. This can be eaten with quinoa, rice, pasta, paratha, chapati or any flatbread. Can also be served as dip with crackers and fresh vegetables.