Smoky spiced aubergines

Smoky spiced aubergines

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

I absolutely love this. It’s a very Punjabi dish known as bharta in India, and it’s great with lentil and bean curries, or just with crispy naan or flatbreads and some creamy raita.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large aubergines
vegetable oil
3 tablespoons ghee
2 small-ish onions, finely chopped
1-3 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
20g root ginger, finely chopped, (peeled weight)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 rounded teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
2 large handfuls green peas
handful coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Smear the aubergines with a little oil, place directly over a gas flame and cook, turning often, until charred all over. It will take around 15 minutes. (Or roast them in the oven at 220°C for 25–30 minutes.) Sprinkle water all over and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a non-stick saucepan. Add the onions and chillies and cook until soft. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, spices and salt and cook until the tomatoes release oil back into the pan, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the skin from the aubergines and discard. Chop the flesh and add it to the tomato saucepan with any juices that have accumulated in the aubergine dish, then tip in the peas. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes, until the moisture has dried off and the mixture looks creamy. Cover and leave to rest for five minutes, then stir in the chopped coriander and serve.
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