Chokha Recipe:A simple non fried Baingan Bharta is very famous in North India especially in UP and Bihar. Without even using spices and oil this Baingan Bharta tastes simply amazing.
When we usually talk about Baingan Bharta it refers to Punjabi style pan cooked Baingan Bharta where baingan is fried with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices. But this style of Baingan Bharta is non-fried, super simple and super easy to do. It is also known as Chokha in many parts of northern India.
If you go to north Indian village you will find its food be very simple like its people. Many households still cook their everyday meal on small clay oven called chulha using dry wooden sticks and coal as fuel. The food cooked on chulhas is very tasty and have distinct delectable smell that comes from smoky burnt wood and coal. Traditionally, they would just put raw baigan and onion in the hot ashes in chulha after cooking is over. Leave them for a while and take them out to make fresh smoky chokha. You don’t need to add any additional spice or flavors to that.
Since in today’s household, we cannot get close to same smoky roast, we will try getting as close as possible. For that we will roast Baingan on open fire stove. If you have electric stove like me just use griddle and put the Baingan on top of it to roast. I have also tried roasting Baingan for Baingan Bharta in microwave or electric oven but didn’t get that smoky flavor. Roasting on open fire at least gives me some amount of it.
Here is step by step process of making Baingan Bharta or Choka recipe:
Wash baingan / eggplant, onions, chillies and coriander leaves with water. Pat them dry.
Roast it on open flame or if you have electric stove like me use griddle to roast the eggplant. I don’t prefer rubbing baingan with oil as it gives too much of smoke and my fire alarm goes on and on. Turn the baingan 3-4 times so that it get roasted evenly from all the side.
Once baingan is roasted you can see its skin shrinks, it changes the color and you will get nice smoky aroma everywhere. Transfer the baingan/eggpant in a bowl.
Take the skin out and discard the stem.
With a fork smash the roasted baingan in small pieces. If you see any of ripe seeds take them out and discard them.
Chop onion, coriander leaves, and green chillies very fine.
Mix onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, little sat and baingan together.
Serve baingan bharta/ choka warm or cold with chapatis
I did not added any spice in this baingan bharta recipe or chokha recipe as I want to keep it very simple. But if you still like you can add some spices like red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Also some people like to add minced garlic and fine chopped tomatoes to it. Feel free to try these combinations. They all taste good:).
Along with this Baingan Bharta / chokha, I also made chhanch (thin salted lassi) and thick tawa chapati which is an excellent combination with this simple baingan bharta or chokha. In hot days such types of food are very comforting and satisfying.
Here is step by step Baingan Bharta | chokha recipe card:
- Baingan/Eggplant: 1 large size,
- Onion fine chopped: 1 small size,
- Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp,
- Green chillies: 2 fine chopped,
- Wash, dry and roast baingan on flame.
- Take the skin out and discard the stem.
- With a fork smash the baingan / eggplant in small pieces.
- Mix onions, coriander leaves, green chillies and salt to smashed baingan.
- Baingan bharta or choka is ready to serve.
2. Always choose light weight eggplant for making baingan bharta as the seeds are not ripe and baingan will be sweet.
3. You can add more green chillies according to your taste.
4. You can also add fine chopped tomatoes and minced garlic in the same recipe.