An Accidental Recipe

I’m sharing an accidental recipe – one that I happened to create as a result of pure dumb luck. I had absolutely no intention of making this dish for dinner that night, and it was by total accident that I ended up creating a recipe for Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta. The classic eggplant dish got streamlined and reinvented in the process of making a sheet pan dinner recipe. The convenience and simplicity of this method make it perfect for busy weeknights, while still delivering the rich, smoky flavors of traditional baingan bharta.

Baingan Bharta

While I often make the Maharashtrian Vangyache Bharit, the popular Baingan Bharta makes an occasional appearance in my kitchen. It is a classic North Indian dish featuring spiced roasted eggplant mash, commonly found on the menus of Indian restaurants worldwide. The preparation involves roasting and mashing eggplant before seasoning it.

After mashing the eggplant, it is typically stir-fried in hot oil seasoned with cumin seeds, asafetida, turmeric, and garam masala. It also includes ingredients like onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, tomatoes, and an abundance of fresh cilantro or coriander leaves. All these aromatics, herbs, and spices contribute to the wonderful depth of flavors and textures in the otherwise neutral-tasting mashed eggplant.

Sheet Pan Cooking Technique

I love sheet pan cooking – simply toss everything on the sheet pan and roast or bake in the oven. Sheet pan cooking is a convenient and efficient method that allows for easy preparation and cleanup, making it perfect for busy weeknights. Also, there’s no clean up after cooking, especially if you use aluminum foil to line the baking sheet! Plus, the concentrated heat of the oven helps to intensify flavors and create delicious caramelization.

Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta

I have been using this technique for a while now, ever since I created my very first sheet pan recipe for bhendi chi bhaji (bhindi sabji) by tossing sliced okra with oil and spices and roasting it in the oven at a very high temperature. It is a great way to develop the same wonderful seared flavor for the okra or other vegetables (ex. cabbage), instead of stir-frying it in the kadhai! I even use it to make classic spice blends, like the Maharashtrian Kala/Goda Masala.

unintentional culinary success

On the day I stumbled upon my accidental sheet pan baingan bharta, I had originally planned to whip up a traditional Maharashtrian delicacy called vaangyachya kaachrya. This dish involves sautéing sliced eggplant with a medley of spices and aromatics. However, life had other plans for me that day. As I found myself pulled into urgent matters at home, I opted for a hands-off approach to cooking. Instead of hovering over the stove, I decided to delegate the task to my trusty oven.

Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta

Hastily, I assembled all the ingredients I had prepped onto a sheet pan – eggplant, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, oil, and spices – and slid it into the oven for roasting. Little did I know that this impromptu decision would yield unexpectedly delightful results. When I retrieved the sheet pan after half an hour, I was greeted with a sight that initially disappointed me – the eggplant slices had disintegrated into a mash. However, upon tasting it, I discovered that it bore a striking resemblance to the beloved baingan bharta! Overjoyed by this accidental culinary triumph, I savored every mouthful of the bharta alongside piping hot lachha parathas. Despite the initial setback, dinner turned out to be a delightful affair!

Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta

While I teach the North Indian recipe in my cooking classes, this accidental technique of preparing the dish in one shot, on the sheet pan in the oven, has become my go-to recipe whenever I crave baingan bharta. Give my accidental recipe for baingan bharta a try! It’s super easy to make and tastes just like the classic dish!!

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Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 23 servings 1x

Description

The classic baingan bharta recipe, reinvented by roasting together in the oven – eggplant, tomatoes, onions with aromatics & spices.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium sized eggplant /brinjal /aubergine (see FAQs & Notes + Variations)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 23 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F/ 200 °C.
  • Trim the stem of a medium sized eggplant (brinjal/aubergine) and cut it in half along the length and then cut both the halves further in half. Thinly slice each of the pieces and transfer them to an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  • Transfer the sliced tomatoes and onions along with chopped ginger and garlic to the baking sheet with the sliced eggplant.
  • Sprinkle salt along with all the spices – turmeric, red chili powder, cumin seeds, and garam masala.
  • Drizzle the oil and toss everything well to combine and spread it out in an even layer.
  • Roast in the oven for 25-30 mins, tossing once half way through.
  • When roasting is complete, take the baking sheet out of the oven and place it on the counter. Using the cooking spoons, mash the roasted spiced eggplant mixture to a desired consistency (I like to keep it a little chunky).
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander and serve warm or at room temperature on the side of rotis/parathas, dal or rice.

Keywords: Oven Roasting, Weeknight Cooking

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

What type. of eggplant works best?

The Globe or American eggplant variety are perfect for this recipe but Italian eggplants will work as well.

Recipe Variations

Try zucchini or summer squash instead of eggplant!

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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Sheet Pan Baingan Bharta

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