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baingan bharta pasta with burrata in skillet and bowl

This is the Food To Glow dinner version of the iconic Indian side dish, baingan bharta. Based on fire-roasted eggplant and cooked-down spiced tomatoes, this fragrant, soothingly-soft dish is served rather heretically with pasta and topped with creamy, indulgent burrata. Enjoy xx

close up of smoky Indian eggplant and pasta in skillet with burrataBaingan Baharta Pasta is a rather cheeky nod to my favorite Indian side dish. Spiced, but not hot; vegetable-filled, but not “worthy”; this is a tangy, aromatic way to enjoy eggplants and tomatoes. And pasta! And creamy burrata! 

baingan bharta with pasta and cheeseI hope as crazy as this Italian-Indian mash-up might sound, that you are tempted to rush straight to the kitchen to make it. Or at least grab a pen and paper to add the ingredients to your grocery list. Because, I promise, it is a very gratifying dish to put together, let alone eat.

baingan bharta with pasta and burrata in skillet and black bowlWhat does Baingan Bharta Pasta taste like?

This recipe, cooked on the stove until you have a mulch of spice-infused vegetables, is defined by its subtle smokiness. 

Eggplants get the gas stove treatment, turning from fat, firm glossy obsidian fruit to charred and collapsed heaps, puffs of steam escaping from the knife pricks. Although the burnt eggplant skin is peeled away and discarded, smokiness permeates the soft, pale flesh underneath. It is utterly delicious just like this. Indeed if you add tahini, lemon, garlic and a few other bits, you will have the intense, miraculous dish, baba ganoush.

eggplants roasting over gas flame

eggplants roasting on gas flame – it ain’t pretty!

But our palates are going a bit further east. The taste result is intense and a bit herbal, but not overwhelming. It is tempered and complemented – I think – by the blander pasta and the creamy soft cheese. I hope you find it well balanced as is, but of course feel free to tinker with the seasoning and acidity.

making baingan bharta How do I make Baingan Bharta Pasta?

  1. Once the eggplants have collapsed on the stove with a steamy sigh it is time to concentrate on getting the rest of the “sauce” together. I put quotes around this because I am thinking of it as a pasta sauce, but of course it isn’t really. 
  2. Anyway, we are cooking down onion until soft and golden, adding a bit of salt to help prevent burning. Btw, most of my favorite savory dishes start with slow-cooked onions. 
  3. Then we add lots of garlic (tamed by the cooking!), chopped fresh tomatoes, green chili, Kashmiri chili (or cayenne), fresh ginger and turmeric. We let this cook until the oil separates out and the tomatoes are very soft and pulpy.
  4. Next we add the smoky eggplant and let that cook some more until the oil separates out yet again. 
  5. Last addition is of lime juice, garam masala and cilantro, cooking just a minute or two before stirring into the cooked pasta – whatever kind that you like – and topping with a quick preserved lemon and spice drizzle that you will “temper” in a bit of hot oil. This last bit isn’t absolutely necessary, but I think it adds a little something special. holding a ball of Italian burrata cheese
  6. Finally we tear up the burrata and divide between the servings. I’ve been a bit mean and stipulated one fat ball of burrata between four plates, but perhaps use two. Or even none if you wish to keep it vegan.

Tweaks

In the oven: below in the recipe card I tell you how to roast your eggplants in the oven so that they collapse and the insides are lovely and soft.

For families: If you want to serve this as an adventurous family meal – well, you might! – just leave out the green chilli and the Kashmiri chili powder. 

Change the cheese: You could even serve this with fried slices of paneer cheese or sautéed tofu instead of the burrata if this is hard to get, or perhaps a bit rich in taste for you. Make it your own. 🙂

PS. Burrata is usually made with animal rennet, but you can get it made with microbial rennet and even vegan. If you are vegan or vegetarian, do read the label, or consider using tofu instead. 🙂

Indian eggplant and tomato pasta in cooking dish and bowl

eating the Indian eggplant, pasta and cheese dish

So, what do you think?  A bit mad, huh? Let me know if you try my Baingan Bharta Pasta with Burrata below, or over on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I always welcome your comments. And I love it when you let me know you are cooking Food To Glow!

serving baingan bharta pasta

baingan bharta pasta with burrata in black skillet
5 from 4 votes
Print

Baingan Bharta Pasta with Burrata (Indian Fire-Roasted Eggplant)

The Food To Glow version of the iconic Punjabi dish based on fire-roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices. Mixed with pasta and topped with creamy, indulgent burrata.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword baingan bharta, eggplant, pasta
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 464 kcal
Author kellie anderson

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants firm and glossy
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or whatever is your preferred neutral cooking oil
  • 1 red onion peeled and finely chopped or sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic smashed, peeled and minced
  • 1 green finger chili chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili or 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped, keeping the juices
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala more to taste
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 300 g uncooked pasta
  • 1 ball burrata
  • 30 g cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped

The Tarka

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil or ghee
  • 1 preserved lemon finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 2 tsp kalonji seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Roasting the Eggplants - two ways

  1. Prick the eggplants with a skewer or thin-bladed knife in a few places. Flame-roast the eggplants, turning every few minutes with tongs, until charred and collapsed - about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then peel the skin - its easy to do - and chop the pale smoky flesh. Set aside. You can roast the eggplants in the oven if you don't have a gas stove. Heat the oven to 220C fan/ 240C/450F and place the pricked eggplants on a foil-lined tray. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, or until collapsed. This is a good method but doesn't add much in the way of smoky flavor.

The Tomato Sauce + Pasta

  1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan, adding the onions and a good pinch of salt - about 1/4 teaspoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Add in the minced garlic, chopped chili and ginger, turmeric, black pepper, Kashimir chili powder and tomatoes, mixing well. Sauté until the oil separates from the mixture at the sides and the tomatoes are pulpy in texture.

  2. Add in the chopped cooked eggplant and mix well. Let this cook down until the oil again separates out to the sides. Just about done! Stir in the lime juice, garam masala and cilantro.

  3. While the sauce is cooking down to a jammy fragrant mulch, cook the pasta as directed. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it well add it back to the cooking pan and pour over the baingan bharta, mixing well.

The Tarka -optional

  1. Heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chopped preserved lemon, chili powder, kalonji seeds and salt. There will be some serious spluttering so take care. Let this sizzle for 30 seconds and immediately take it off the heat

Putting It Together

  1. Portion the Baingan Bharta Pasta into individual dishes, drizzling over the hot tarka and tearing up the burrata to top. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

If you don't fancy having this with pasta, serve in a traditional way with hot roti or chapati, plus some seasoned rice (cumin-scented or turmeric rice is excellent).

 

And, if you don't care for the burrata, just leave it out. Perhaps add some sautéed tofu pieces for a bit of protein. Or serve the Baingan Bharta as a side dish.

Nutrition Facts
Baingan Bharta Pasta with Burrata (Indian Fire-Roasted Eggplant)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 213mg9%
Potassium 1080mg31%
Carbohydrates 80g27%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 1758IU35%
Vitamin C 30mg36%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin now. Make soon!

Baingan Bharta Pasta with Burrata by kelliesfoodtoglow.com

 

5 thoughts on “Baingan Bharta Pasta with Burrata (Indian Fire-Roasted Eggplant)

  1. Mr A says:

    This is a fusion with magical powers!! Brilliant!!

  2. You’re so incredibly creative! I love Indian food, but I’ve never had this traditional dish, let alone your delicious pasta version. Pinning & making ASAP! I hope my boys will approve. Wink, wink.

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Thank you so much, EA. I love coming up with small tweaks that turn side dishes into main meals. And this one is of course so easy to be gluten-free! Let me know if it makes it on your family menu and how it went down 🙂

  3. Sally says:

    Indian Italian mash up for me anytime.

    1. kellie anderson says:

      Thanks, Sally. It might be a bridge too far for some, but I knew you would be game 🙂

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