BAINGAN (Badanekaayi/Eggplant) BHARTHA

Beauty of an accompaniment embraced equally well by rotis or rice. A delightful dish made with Brinjal, cooked or roasted, peeled and mashed making it awesomely aromatic; cooked tomatoes making it tangy; ginger, garlic making it gently pungent; spice powders making it spicier and onions marking a broad baseline of sweet and earthy flavour. The term “Bhartha” is used when ingredients are mashed roughly either before or after the dish is done. Baingan (also known as Badanekaayi, Brinjal, Eggplant, Aubergine, Guinea Squash, Melanzane, Melongene, Garden Egg) is a low calorie vegetable. Antioxidants present in the vegetable keeps the arteries healthy and prevents heart attack. Being rich in fibre, it helps clear toxins from the digestive tract, prevents colon cancer and prevents overeating since even a small serving makes one feel full. Its high water content also flushes the toxins away….making your skin glow the fairy way!

Dish Type:  Indian Vegetarian Curry BB 3 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20 min

Serves:  2 persons


Brinjal                         1 no. (purple coloured, big size, round variety)

Oil                               1 tbsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Onions                         4 nos.

Tomato                        2 nos.

Ginger Garlic paste     1 tsp

Coriander powder       1 tsp

Cumin powder            1 tsp

Chilli powder               1 tsp

Masala powder           A pinch

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 2 tbsps. approx.

Coriander leaves         1 tbsp (fine chopped)


Cook brinjal in tandoor style for that distinct smoky flavour….greased in oil (with a few pricks all over for fast and uniform cooking) and roasted over an open flame on low setting till it is cooked well. Keep turning and cooking till the entire skin is charred, the inner flesh looks really soft, the skin starts curling and is in a ready to peel state. (helloeasyroutefinders”, cook brinjal in pressure cooker with water like you cook potatoes. Let it cool.) Peel the skin of onions and chop them fine. Pour oil (2 tbsps.) in a kadai. Heat the oil and put cumin seeds. When they splutter, add ginger garlic paste. Fry it and then put chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir well. Fry in low flame slowly. When onions have fried well, they would have reduced in quantity. Now put coriander (dhania) powder, cumin (jeera) powder, chilli powder and masala powder. Mix well and continue frying in low flame. Fried onions appear further reduced in quantity. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and continue frying. Meanwhile, try piercing the cooked brinjal with the back of a spoon. Did the spoon make its way in, just as it would into soft butter? Yes…now peel the skin of cooked brinjal. Open the brinjal into half. Make sure brinjal is not spoilt inside. Sure fire check systems in place…right? Now mash it and add to the onion tomato mix that is being fried. Mix well. Let it simmer for few more minutes. Switch off the flame. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Baigan Bhartha is now ready. Serve hot with rotis, chapathis, phulkas, plain rice, jeera rice, crunchy toast…hmmm can’t resist!


Brinjals that are big in size, with smooth and shiny surface are more likely to have lesser number of seeds. Pick the ones that look firm, shiny, healthy, heavy and solid.

Check to see if the stalk is green, firm and stout. The whole vegetable including its skin and small, fine seeds are edible.

It is preferable to use a stainless steel knife to cut brinjals since it prevents the chemical reaction between phytochemicals present in brinjal and the metal.

If you have itching problems et al, don’t go dying for brinjal.


All izzz well when heart is well. What better way to keep it that way than teeming our lifestyle with this magical green coloured gram called Mung Bean. This tiny bean plays a mighty role in combating heart diseases since its rich magnesium content relaxes arteries and veins keeping the heart healthy.

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Side Dish Greengram n greens palya

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  30 min

Serves:  4 persons


For pressure cooking:

Green gram                75 gms

Water                          250 ml

Ghee                            1 tsp

Turmeric                     A pinch

Dantina soppu             1 bunch (amaranth leaves)

Tomato                        2 nos.

Salt to taste                 ½ tbsp. (at the time of adding chopped greens)

For seasoning:

Ghee                            1 tsp

Mustard seeds                        ½ tsp

Black gram                  ½ tsp

Green chillies              2 nos. (red chillies or salted chillies can also be used)

Onions                         2 nos. (medium size, fine chopped)

Salt to taste                 ½ tsp approx.

For garnishing:

Raw grated coconut    1 tbsp approx. (optional)


Wash green gram thoroughly. Keep it for boiling on low flame in a pressure cooker along with water, turmeric and ghee.

Wash greens (dantina soppu) and tomatoes thoroughly in salt water. Drain out the water.

Chop greens finely. No need to chop tomatoes.

Peel the skin of onions and finely chop them. Wash the 2 green chillies, slit them and keep aside.

By this time, green gram would have been half cooked. Remove the lid of the pressure cooker. Add the chopped greens and salt and over this, add tomatoes. After 2 whistles, switch off the pressure cooker. Let it cool.

While the cooker is cooling….do spare time to read footnotes given at the end of this recipe.

By now, pressure in the cooker would have subsided. Transfer the contents on to a colander to drain the water to another vessel. Preserve this precious nutritious water, a tbsp. of cooked green gram and greens and the 2 cooked tomatoes aside to make “Green Gram Rasam with Greens”  later. (Recipe posted separately at Sarapaaka).

Now is the time for seasoning. Heat a drop of ghee in a small skillet. Do not heat it too much. When it is just hot, put mustard seeds. When they crackle, immediately put black gram, slit green chillies and then the finely chopped onions. Now add a pinch of salt and the remaining cooked green gram and greens. (Do you remember keeping a tbsp. of this aside to use for Rasam?) Mix them well and toss it for a minute or two. Garnish with raw grated coconut if desired.

Hmmm….Green Gram Curry with Greens is ready. Let this side dish occupy the altar, next to Rothis n Parathas.

Note: Don’t forget to use the remaining cooked green gram and greens and the boiled and drained water to make “Green Gram Rasam with Greens”.