One evening during my last stay in Bangladesh, I was asked if I eat Baingan bhorta and not even heard of it before, I naturally answered “No”. The very next day I tried it and immediately, I regretted not having it sooner! I grew up eating Tomato satni/bhorta and the Aloo version, but I had never tried Baingan bhorta before. The smoky flavour of the roasted Aubergine, mashed, then mixed with fresh coriander, chillies and sliced onion served on a bed of white rice, was what I envisioned a match made in heaven to be. That was over ten years ago and I still feel the same about my Baingan bhorta now.
Once I returned from back home, I somewhat forgot about the dish, until my second pregnancy, which consisted mainly of late night munchies. So, one night there wasn’t much, but a lonely Aubergine and some already cooked plain rice from the supper earlier. And, that’s when it hit me to make the Baingan bhorta, but I couldn’t be bothered to take the traditional route and roast it on the open flame stove, turning every five minutes, so I roasted it in the oven which I knew to do from a Mutabbal recipe. Since then, it’s a regular.
As most other recipes, Baingan bhorta has its variations too. Many roast the onions along with the Aubergine, other add roasted garlic and some add fresh, some add mustard oil but it all comes down to individual tastes. I have tried a few variations, but I like to keep it simple which is what draws me back to it again and again so often.
It’s a very easy, simple and light dish to prepare. Normally, served as a side dish, like to this Gosht Aloo, but, on a day like this when we’re all tired of eating leftover meat dishes from the weekend, Baingan bhorta with some plain rice is perfect. It’s also equally delicious as a dip for naan or pita bread.
- 300g Whole Aubergines, washed
- 50g Red Onion, finely sliced
- 20g Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
- 10g Fresh Green chilli, finely chopped*
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli flakes (optional)
- Place oven shelf in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 200ºc.
- Pierce the Aubergines with a fork a few times at different positions, then place directly on the middle shelf in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.*
- It should be soft and limp by the end of 40 minutes. If not leave for slightly longer. If done, then place in a food safe bag, loosely close and leave for 10 minutes. *
- After 10 minutes, the skin should peel off easily and once peeled, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Once cool, mix with the other ingredients and serve.
- * Please use whatever amount of chilli you're use to, as what I use maybe too less or too much for you.
- * Piercing the Aubergines will help prevent them from busrting which will mean a very messy oven.
- * You can also place a tray on the next descending shelf to catch any liquid that the Aubergines release.
- * Placing the Aubergines in a bag and enclosing helps the skin to soften and loosen up.