I have been making the Middle Eastern roasted eggplant pâté, both with and without tahini for years and I love it. However, I saw this recipe in an Indian cookbook and decided to try it for some variety. In Hindi bharta means a mishmash of sorts. This version uses ingredients from the peasant community in the northwest region of India. It is redolent with that smoky eggplant flavor and is wonderful as a side dish or spread on toasted baguette slices to go along with cocktails. Try it over smashed avocado for an even deeper dish. While traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter) it can also be made with a neutral vegetable oil to keep it vegan. No matter how you try it, the result is wonderful and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you are making it for a crowd. My husband LOVED this.
Eggplant Pâté (Bharta) from Indian Cooking Unfolded by Raghavan Iyer
Yield: About 2 cups
1.5 pound firm purple eggplant without blemishes
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 rounded Tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (I admit that I use the stuff from a jar)
1 fresh green chili, stems discarded, finely chopped (The recipe suggests using a Serrano chili, but that is a bit too hot for my taste so I used a jalapeno. Since it was quite large, I only ended up using half of the jalapeno.)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon ghee or Canola oil
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
Juice from 1/2 of a small lime
1 Tablespoon, chopped fresh cilantro
- If you are grilling the eggplant, place it on the grill grate, cover the grill and cook, turning it periodically to ensure even grilling. Cook until the skin is evenly charred, about 25 minutes. If you are broiling the eggplant (which I did since I don’t own a grill), position the broiler rack so the eggplant will be about 6 inches from the heat. Place the eggplant on heavy duty foil directly on top of the rack and broil it, turning it midway until the skin is evenly charred. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Place the grilled eggplant in a bowl large enough to easily hold it and cover the bowl with plastic wrap to sweat the eggplant. This will take about 15 minutes. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel the eggplant skin away over the bowl using a soup spoon, discarding the skin and stem. Retain any of the liquid that has pooled in the bowl.
- Smush the eggplant with a potato masher or your hands. Add the onion, ginger, chili, salt and turmeric and stir to mix well.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil or ghee begins to shimmer, sprinkle in the cumin seeds. They will instantly sizzle and perfume the air. This only takes about 5-10 seconds. Add the eggplant mixture and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the skillet to make sure that nothing sticks. Cook for about 15 minutes until the flavors have mingled and are irresistible.
- Stir in the lime juice and serve it warm with the chopped cilantro.
8 thoughts on “Eggplant Pâté (Bharta)”
Hi Lisa, There is a pickle also that can be made from egg plant. Also, a chutney from egg plant. here is my recipe for egg plant chutney. https://www.sitarafoods.com/single-post/2018/04/23/VANKAYA-PACHADI-BRINJAL-CHUTNEY
You can also find to buy all veg and non veg pickles online at http://www.sitarafoods.com
I love pretty much ANY eggplant dish so will be sure to check these out. Thank you for writing!
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Wow Thats a traditional recipe and my all time favorite.I can live full day on it looks mouthwatering. nice post.https://kudratkart.com/
Thank you! We loved it too.
I like your canning recipes. good on you for keeping up the family traditions.great clicks and recipes! thanks for sharing this delicious and healthy food recipe.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy some of my other recipes too.