Baingan bharta is a popular Indian dish made with mashed roasted eggplants. Air fryer baingan bharta is an easy, flavorful, vegan, and gluten-free recipe for all eggplant lovers.
Traditionally, eggplants were cooked on charcoal or on direct fire. This gave a smoky flavor.
Now there is the convenience of roasting eggplants in the oven or in the air fryer however it will not have that kind of smoky flavor. You can always add some smoked paprika to get a smoky flavor.
This recipe uses very little oil. Baigan bharta has a savory and spicy taste and is served with Indian bread like roti, poori, paratha, or naan.
The best part of making baingan bharta is that it requires very few basic ingredients other than of course eggplants. I have used medium-sized eggplants to make this recipe but large eggplants work well too.
If the eggplants are large, they may not fit in the air fryer, so an oven works well for large eggplants.
Apart from eggplants, some onions, garlic cloves, and frozen peas are added. I have not used tomatoes but if you prefer, you can add them.
Basic Indian spices like cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt are added. Serrano pepper adds spiciness and can be adjusted to taste. Finally, sprinkle some chopped cilantro for garnishing.
To make baingan bharta, whole eggplants can be roasted in the oven or in the air fryer. There is no need to brush the eggplants with oil. Cut them into four slits to about three fourth of their length and roasted them in a convection oven or in the air fryer. Optionally tuck in 1-2 garlic cloves inside the slits of the eggplants.
To roast the whole eggplant in the oven, place the eggplants on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake the whole eggplants in the oven at 450°F for about 25-30 minutes.
To roast eggplants in the air fryer as well. Place them in the air fryer and air fry at 390°F for about 20-25 minutes.
With the help of a fork, check that the eggplants are well-cooked. The fork will slide in and out smoothly. If not, then cook them for a few more minutes. Use kitchen tongs to remove the eggplants from the air fryer.
Once the eggplants are roasted, carefully scoop out all the pulp and discard the peel. Mash the eggplant pulp with a spoon or a potato masher.
Heat a skillet on the stovetop on medium heat. Once hot, add the oil followed by chopped garlic, peppers, onions, and spices. Cook well until onions are translucent and then add the roasted eggplants and peas.
Cook well for a few minutes until oil oozes out from the bharta and then garnish it with some cilantro leaves. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice.
This is an easy vegan and gluten-free baingan bharta recipe. It can easily be adapted to your taste.
Tomatoes - I have not added tomatoes but you can add a chopped tomato while cooking and this will also make it a bit red in color.
Spicy - to make it spicier, you can add more serrano peppers, red chili powder, or garam masala.
Smoky - add a teaspoon of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
It is best to serve baingan bharta when it is hot. It makes a satisfying meal when served with Indian bread like roti, poori, paratha, or naan. Garnish it with some chopped cilantro leaves.
Bharta can also be served with dal-rice, khichdi, or aloo paratha.
I have roasted these eggplants in the Philips Air Fryer. They can be made in any type of air fryer, be it basket style or tray style, or any size.
Depending on your air fryer and the number of eggplants you want to roast, you may have to air fry them in multiple batches.
Also, any convection oven will work fine to roast the whole eggplants. Just ensure you are placing them in a baking tray lined with aluminum foil while roasting.
Baingan bharta is best served hot. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat, reheat it in a microwave and serve it hot.
Don't forget to check out these Indian recipes
- Dal bafla (dal bati) in air fryer or oven
- Sabudana vada in air fryer
- Begun bhaja (eggplant slices) in air fryer
- Air fryer Indian recipes
- Air fryer vegan recipes
- Air fryer naan
- Dal vada in air fryer
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Baingan Bharta - Air Fryer and Oven
- Convection Oven
- 4 Eggplants (Medium size)
- ½ cup Onion (chopped)
- 2 teaspoon Serrano pepper (or to taste)
- ½ cup Peas (Frozen or fresh)
- 4-6 cloves Garlic (minced, or whole if tucking in the eggplants)
Oil and spices
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- ½ tablespoon Corriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- Cilantro (chopped, for garnishing)
- Rinse the eggplants with water and pat dry.
- Slice the eggplants till ¾th length.
- Optionally place a garlic clove inside the cut eggplant.
Roast eggplant in an Air Fryer
- Place the eggplants in the air fryer basket.
- Roast the eggplants in the air fryer at 390°F for 20-25 minutes.
Roast eggplant in the oven
- Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
- Place the eggplants in a baking tray in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Make baingan bharta
- Scoop the pulp of the eggplants and mash it.
- Heat a skillet on the cook top and add oil once heated.
- Add chopped garlic, serrano peppers, and onions and saute until onions are translucent.
- Add the salt, coriander powder, and cumin powder and saute for a few seconds.
- Add the mashed eggplants and peas and mix well.
- Cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, optionally sprinkle some lemon juice and cilantro for garnishing
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