Baigan Choka Recipe: Tasty Roasted Eggplant Recipe


Baigan choka is a delicious breakfast side dish made with fire roasted eggplant (baigan), garlic and oil.

The dish originates from East Indian cuisine.

Baigan is a derivative of the Hindi word – baingan – for eggplant or aubergine or melongene.

Choka is another derivative from the Hindi word – chokha – which is a type of cooking process. Here, vegetables are roasted over open flames, peeled and mixed with hot oil and aromatic flavorings like onions and garlic.

Tomato choka is another popular breakfast side dish in T&T.

What is in baigan choka

A simple baigan choka recipe needs:

  • eggplants or baigan
  • garlic
  • onions
  • pepper
  • salt
  • oil

Optional ingredients can include:

  • fresh herbs like chadon beni
  • Caribbean green seasoning
  • tomatoes

How to make baigan choka

Prep the ingredients

Peel the garlic and cut into thirds lengthways.

Wash the eggplant thoroughly and cut multiple slits into it. Twist the knife in each slit to open it slightly. By the way, the eggplants I’m using here are from my very own garden!

baigan straight from the garden

Push the garlic into the slits you just made.

Brush the eggplant with a little oil (optional).

Peel and dice onions, pepper, and any optional ingredients.

add garlic to baigan slits

Roast the eggplant

Place the eggplant on an open flame – either in a chulha, BBQ pit, coal pot, or on the stovetop. Leave to roast for five minutes before turning over and allowing the opposite side to roast.

roasting eggplants on open flame

Continue turning and roasting, ensuring every part of the baigan is exposed to the flames. You should see charring of the skin and steam bubbles coming out of the slits.

When the eggplant becomes very soft and flatter, it is ready to remove – it can take about 15 to 20 minutes to roast.

Remove the eggplant and set aside to cool.

Sauté the aromatics

In a small pot on medium heat, pour in a little oil. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent. Next, add pepper and other optional ingredients like Caribbean green seasoning and fresh herbs.

Remove the skin

Once the eggplant has cooled enough to handle, cut open and scoop out the roasted flesh and garlic pieces. You’ll want to remove all the charred skin (although if you miss a couple small pieces, that’s fine).

remove roasted baigan from charred skin

Mash and add the aromatics

Place the flesh in a small bowl. Add the salt, sautéed onions, pepper and optional ingredients. Mix and mash everything until there are no large eggplant chunks.

Serve immediately with sada roti and other chokas like tomato choka and aloo choka.

finished baigan choka

Tips for making baigan choka

Those steam bubbles that form when roasting the eggplant can drip onto the stovetop. For easy cleanup, it’s a great idea to line the base of the stove with foil. The foil will catch any drippings and you just have to lift up and discard to clean up. Easy breezy!

Another important tip is to use younger or immature eggplants for making this recipe. Younger eggplants are slightly soft to the touch and have small seeds. These seeds become soft after being roasted. The larger seeds of the mature eggplants are tougher and not as soft or as pleasant in the choka.  

Can you batch make baigan choka

Eggplant oxidizes quickly so baigan choka can oxidize and darken after it is cooked. The oil and aromatics reduce this oxidation but it still happens. So, I won’t recommend batch making baigan choka – but you can and it will stay well in the fridge for a day or two.

Baigan choka recipe


baigan choka featured image

Baigan choka recipe

Print Recipe
Baigan choka is a delicious breakfast side dish made with fire roasted eggplant (baigan), garlic and oil. It has a really nice smoky taste.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Caribbean, Indian
Keyword baigan choka
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 3
Author We Trini Food

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 eggplants
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Peel garlic cloves.
  • Slice the garlic into thirds lengthways.
  • Wash eggplants.
  • Cut multiple slits along each eggplant (twist the knife slightly to expand the slits).
  • Push the sliced garlic into the slits.
  • Brush oil on the eggplants (optional).
  • Place on an open flame to roast.
  • After 5 minutes, turn the eggplants to roast the other sides.
  • After another 5 minutes, turn again.
  • Continue roasting until completely soft and almost flat (20 minutes in total).
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Peel and dice onions and pepper.
  • Place a small pot on medium heat.
  • Add oil.
  • Add onions and sauté until translucent.
  • Add pepper and optional ingredients.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cut open the roasted eggplants.
  • Scoop out the roasted flesh and garlic slices. Remove most of the charred skin.
  • Place flesh in a small bowl.
  • Add the salt, sautéed onions, pepper and optional ingredients.
  • Mash until smooth.
  • Serve hot.

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