Friday, June 18, 2021
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Bharwa Baingan (Indian Stuffed Eggplant)


My classic Bharwa Baingan recipe is simple to prepare in just 30 minutes as a comforting weeknight meal. This stuffed eggplant dish is loaded with a flavorful blend of spices, and features baby eggplants and tender diced potatoes quickly sautéed on the stovetop. Follow our step-by-step instructions with photos to make an easy and satisfying vegan dinner tonight!

bharwa baingan in a white bowl on a wooden tray

About Bharwa Baingan

Bharwa Baingan is a traditional Indian recipe that translates to “stuffed eggplant.” There are many different variations of the dish – some use onions and garlic in the stuffing mixture, and it can be prepared dry or as a saucy curry.

For example, Bharli Vangi is a popular stuffed eggplant recipe made with coconut, peanuts, and sesame spiced paste from the Maharashtrian cuisine. Likewise, this Ennegayi Recipe from Karnataka cuisine makes a delicious stuffed eggplant curry with a rich sauce.

Today I’m sharing with you my family version of bharwa baingan from Punjabi cuisine. This recipe includes stuffing small purple eggplants, also called brinjals, with just a simple blend of spices and sautéing with diced potatoes.

No need to chop additional aromatics like garlic or onion or even tomatoes! This simple recipe creates a rustic and incredibly flavorful dish that lets the seasonings really shine.

There are a few ways to customize this basic recipe, such as using medium-sized eggplants or skipping the potatoes for a lighter dish. However you choose to prepare, you’ll love the deep, rich flavors and delicious tender eggplants as a filling meal with a side of flatbread.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Bharwa Baingan

Make the Spice Mix

1. First add all of the spice powders in a small plate or bowl:

  • turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  • red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
  • coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  • dry mango powder – 1 teaspoon
  • salt – 1 teaspoon
ground spices on a white plate

2. Mix the seasonings very well with a spoon. Set aside.

ground spiced mixed on white plate

Prep Eggplants

3. Next, rinse and gently dry 250 grams of baby eggplants (about 18 to 20) with a kitchen towel. I recommend using baby brinjals or small eggplants for this recipe as they cook faster and work best for this recipe.

small aubergines on a blue striped kitchen towel

4. If you prefer, first slice off thinly the bottom/base of each eggplant. Then remove the stems or leave them intact. Slit each eggplant four ways: you want the eggplant to stay whole and not entirely chopped through, like in the photo below.

After cutting through the eggplant open it slightly and check for any worms. If you see any black spots or worms then discard that eggplant.

baby aubergines being given a cut with a knife on a white plate

Stuff Eggplants

5. Now stuff the mixed spice powder into the cavity of each eggplant. Keep a bit of the spice blend on the plate to use for finishing the dish.

stuffing the dry spice mix in a small brinjal

6. Once all of the eggplants have been stuffed, set aside as you prepare the potatoes.

masala stuffed brinjals on a white plate

Make Bharwa Baingan

7. Peel, rinse, and chop 250 potatoes (2 to 3 medium-sized) into 1.25 inches cubes or pieces. In a heavy wok (kadai) or frying pan, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of preferred cooking oil. Add the chopped potatoes to the hot pan.

The addition of potatoes is optional but makes for a hearty, satisfying and filling meal. You can also use baby potatoes.

TIP 1: If skipping potatoes then replace them with the same quantity of eggplants.

TIP 2: For the oil you can use any neutral tasting oil or mustard oil.

chopped potatoes in oil in a wok

8. Sauté the potatoes over medium-low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.

potatoes getting sautéed in oil

9. Continue to cook until the potatoes brown slightly around the edges.

potatoes with light golden edges in wok

10. Now add the stuffed eggplant to the pan.

stuffed brinjals added to potatoes in wok

11. Stir well and saute the eggplant for a minute. Then cover the pan with a lid, reduce the stovetop heat to low, and allow the stuffed eggplants to cook undisturbed.

There’s no need to add water, as the eggplant will release just the right amount of moisture on their own.

stuffed brinjals mixed with potatoes

12. After 4 to 5 minutes, remove the lid and stir the veggies. Then cover again and continue to cook for several more minutes, until the eggplant begins to soften.

If you see that the veggies start sticking to the pan add in a splash of water. Mix and deglaze. Cover and continue to cook.

cooked stuffed brinjals and potatoes in wok

13. Once the stuffed eggplants are soft and fork-tender, sprinkle on the remaining leftover spice powder mix.

Stir and sauté for another minute or so to cook the seasonings with the eggplants and potatoes. Taste, and add more salt if needed.

leftover spice mix sprinkled on bharwa baingan

14. Serve the bharwa baingan ki sabji warm with a side of roti, paratha, naan or bread. You can also pair this dish with any North Indian meal.

While serving garnish with freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, if you like. It can be packed for lunch box as well.

bharwa baingan with potatoes in a white bowl with a coriander sprig on a wooden tray

FAQs

What should I serve with bharwa baingan?

This hearty dish is great to enjoy on it’s own as-is, or pairs well with steamed rice, lentils or your favorite veggie sides. I also like to serve with roti or paratha. You can also have it with whole wheat bread or pav (Indian dinner rolls).

How long does homemade stuffed eggplant keep well?

Bharwan baingan definitely tastes best when enjoyed immediately, nice and warm. You can keep cooled leftovers stored in an airtight container for one day, but the eggplant will get even softer when reheated.

How do I make this a low carb dish without potatoes?

Simply skip adding the potatoes and instead replace them with the same quantity of eggplants.

More Indian Eggplant Recipes!

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

Bharwa baingan are small eggplant or baby brinjals stuffed with a spice mix and sauteed with potatoes. This North Indian stuffed eggplant dish makes for a comforting, healthy and filling meal served with a side of roti or paratha.

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 30 mins



Servings 3

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This Bharwa Baingan recipe post from the archives (July 2009) has been republished and updated on 10 June 2021.



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