Eggplant curry/ Baingan Bartha

 Brinjal curry

BainganI have a love-hate relationship with brinjal/eggplant. I like it in tomato chutney, stir fried and fried whole with spices stuffed as in eggplant-masala . I hate it floating as big chunks in curries. But when it is roasted, charred and crushed to make this curry it is a totally new story…I am wild about it!

Eggplant is a silly name for something that is related to tomato and potato. I wonder, why call a vegetable, a plant? It is surely a plant part, still has no taste of an egg to boast. Chickens have every right to be pissed off if they know of egg plants. It should be rightfully named mammoth egg or purple egg to be suggestive but it doesn’t look like an egg to begin with…it’s more of a disfigured bulb.  Why didn’t we name it, a purple bulb or Purmato?

purmatoI am in a fun mood, so decided to rename a vegetable!

Who names these anyways? Common man! Then there should be some common sense applied. There are other vegetables with irrelevant names…like lady’s finger. Does it remotely look like a lady’s finger? Ugh! more like Shrek’s finger! Why not call it, man’s finger…okay, I don’t want to go there!

If eating your greens, means only green leafy vegetables…can purple Kale fit into the list or cabbage and lettuce come under greens?

Poor Mushroom has no room, only a fancy roof to claim. We should consider calling it an fungibrella!

Berries have more to complain with wacky names like gooseberry, elderberry, straw berry (for a dark red berry) and chokeberry (really, and eat it!).

Have you ever thought about these absurd vegetable names? Anyways, quoting Shakespeare, ‘What is in a name?’….an eggplant called brinjal or aubergine or anything would taste slightly bitter when raw and develops a complex rich flavour on cooking.

IMG_2001-001Indian Curry – Basics

Technically, Indian curries have a gravy made of onion, ginger, garlic and tomato or yogurt or coconut or pureed spinach or chillies. Curries vary with the addition of cooked lentils and vegetables. A blend of spices that differ from family to family, make each curry distinct. This also contributes to the fact that there are thousands of different curries. Seasoning it with mustard or cumin spluttered in hot oil is another integral process. Garnishing with coriander leaves, curry leaves or cream completes it.

This Baingan Bartha or eggplant masala is made following the same principle.


  • 1 medium brinjal/eggplant
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger, garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 medium tomato/½ cup canned cut tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp jaggery/sugar
  • salt
  • few sprigs coriander leaves
  1. Poke egg plant/brinjal with the tines of a fork to let steam escape and roast it on a fire (stove top or in an oven or barbeque).
  2. Once the skin turns blackish and flaky, remove it from the fire and put it in a container and cover it to sweat out.
  3. After it cools, peel burned skin from egg plant.
  4. Roughly chop the flesh with a knife or smash it with a spoon.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard to splutter.
  6. Add chopped onions and saute until golden.
  7. Crush garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute in pan.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tender and oil separates.
  9. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala.
  10. Toss the mashed brinjal in this mixture and stir well to coat with the spices.
  11. Cook for a few minutes and sprinkle lemon juice, salt and jaggery before turning off the heat.
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves.

1bWhen roasted and charred, eggplant absorbs a smokey taste which is the specialty of this curry. I used a fork to rotate it while roasting on stove top flame.

I used canned cut tomatoes. That gave it a reddish tint otherwise the curry looks more on the darker side. I also added a cube of butter to balance the heat.

This is a picture I took earlier when I used fresh tomato. Oh yeah, I do make this quite often!

eggplant curry This is a side dish that adds cheer to Roti, Naan or any Indian flat bread. I have linked this recipe to Fiesta Friday-50

Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @



About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
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39 Responses to Eggplant curry/ Baingan Bartha

  1. I like eggplant a lot. In curry for, stir fry, charred and made into gothsu, gravy or curry… Give me eggplant, i am the most happiest person 🙂 Your recipe sounds delicious! I do not use jaggery nor sugar, but will give it a try next time when i make… 🙂


  2. coconutcraze says:

    Thank you, Aiswarya, I have started to enjoy its subtle flavour and realize what I missed in my life! 🙂


  3. Amanda says:

    Wow this looks amazing. If this is what you learned in your photography class, then I’m signing up!


  4. coconutcraze says:

    Yeah, it is helping! Thank you, Amanda! it is after the course we learn a lot, discussing with other participants and commenting on their work.


  5. Purple bulb that’s awesome;-) love your clicks.. Being brinjal lover I feel like grabbing the bowl and taste it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. apsara says:

    Love your sense of humour, Sridevi! I too have a love-hate relationship with brinjal, but I love this dish, especially when it is fire roasted. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi,
    Looks great! I was wondering: Do you use brown (or yellow) mustard seeds?


  8. coconutcraze says:

    I used brown mustard to crackle it in hot oil as a seasoning. We use this in most curries in South India…it adds a unique smell and taste. But, must take care as these brown spheres burst like tiny little explosives.


  9. I love eggplant/aubergine/brinjal and think they work really well in a number of curries and similar dishes. This looks a great recipe to try, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #50 | The Novice Gardener

  11. Hi there, I am co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week and wanted to say hello and welcome! I haven’t laughed liked this for quite a while! Ladies fingers indeed! So we have some geography in common – I grew up in Kenya, moved to Winnipeg in my teens and then to London UK where I still am. My mum and brother are in Toronto – Bramville, I think it is…Mum has just recently moved there from Winnipeg and just can’t get over the variety of ethnic restaurants and shops – she loves it! Anyway, thank so much for bringing this smoky baingan to the party. Your photos are just lovely too! Happy Fiesta Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. coconutcraze says:

    Wow! that is the longest comment I have got so far! I’m overwhelmed…thank you, welcome…I’m lost for words!


  13. Sue says:

    Hi there I’m co hosting this week’s party with Selma and we’re delighted you’re here. When I was in my 20s I had like 2 words in my Indian food vocabulary, not counting naan of course: baingan bartha and saag paneer. I love eggplant prepared this way and agree with you about the superiority of roasting and charring. I do that to nearly all of my veggies! Poor things! Anyhow, thank you again for bringing this beautiful and delicious dish!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. afracooking says:

    When I read the title I was a little doubtful – eggplant….well, not my favourite although it can be magical (like in baba ganouch). But as you share this love/hate attitude I am goigng to trust you on this one: the recipe has gone on to my ‘to cook’ list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. coconutcraze says:

    I considered eggplant to be the dumbest for a long, long time. Perhaps, this curry has presented eggplant to me in a new light. There is no doubt when bitter (from eggplant seeds), salty, sweet and sour meet, it has to be delicious!


  16. skd says:

    Brinjal curry my sons favorite veggie curry 👍😃Looks yum…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think this dish looks just delicious! Your photos are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hilda says:

    I see from the comments I am not the only aubergine fan at Fiesta Friday. Your curry looks delicious.


  19. coconutcraze says:

    Good to know you like aubergines, Hilda! This curry has resemblance to baba ganoush and sure to please you!


  20. petra08 says:

    This looks amazing. I am with you on the eggplant. Sometimes it just isn’t a great and sometimes I can’t seem to get enough. This looks like a great way to make it 🙂


  21. coconutcraze says:

    See, we are right! I doubted it all the time…eggplant is double-faced! We will just take the good face!


  22. an all- time favourite! awesome with roti or rice…

    A lil suggestion would be to sprinkle dried kasuri methi for a very beautiful addition of flavour.

    Check out my new post on simple strawberry

    Liked by 2 people

  23. coconutcraze says:

    That is an awesome suggestion! I like the taste of kasuri methi and am sure what it can do to this dish! Thank you, noodlesforthoughts! I visited your blog…you are doing a great job!


  24. coconutcraze says:

    Thank you, Dimple! Have a great time!


  25. swathi says:

    Eggplant curry looks deliicous, baingan bartha is my favorite.


  26. Karinna says:

    Wonderful recipe!


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