Mashed Smoky Eggplant with Tomatoes

  • Serves

    serves 4

This smooth-textured, luscious side dish—the word bhartha means to pulverize in Hindi, referring to the fact that the ingredients are traditionally mashed in a mortar with a pestle—is excellent served with rice on Naan.


  • 2 medium eggplants (2 lbs.)
  • 8 Tbsp. ghee
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 3 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 thai green chiles, stemmed, and finely chopped
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 12 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. kashmiri red chile powder or paprika
  • Salt
  • Sliced tomatoes, for garnish
  • Julienned ginger, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


Step 1

Cook eggplants directly over a medium gas flame, turning, until charred and softened, 10–12 minutes each. Remove skin and roughly chop flesh. Mash eggplant flesh with the bottom of a drinking glass; set aside.

Step 2

Heat ghee in a pot over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook for 30–45 seconds. Add onions and cook until browned, 25–30 minutes.

Step 3

Add garlic and chiles; cook until lightly browned, 4–5 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Step 4

Add eggplant, garam masala, chile powder or paprika, and salt to taste. Cook until hot, 3–4 minutes more. Serve garnished with sliced tomatoes, julienned ginger, and chopped cilantro leaves.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.