Baked aubergine recipe

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Ready in just four simple steps, this baked aubergine is stuffed and flavoured with a host of aromatic herbs...

Baked aubergine
(Image credit: Future PLC)
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Serves4
SkillEasy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Five A DayTwo
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories90 Kcal5%
Sugar7.2 g8%
Fat4.9 g7%
Saturated Fat0.5 g3%
Salt0.05 g
Protein2.8 g6%
Carbohydrates9.6 g4%
Salt0.05 g

This baked aubergine recipe is based on a South Asian dish called baingan bharta - meaning mashed aubergine. 

It's usually served as a dip with bread, but here we've served it back inside the aubergine skins. This makes it more like a whole meal and keeps the calories and carb content low. It's a two-step cooking process; the aubergines are baked to soften and then the flesh is fried with a mixture of herbs and spices. This recipe serves four.

Ingredients

  • 2 large, firm aubergines (about 450g/1lb in total)
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, crushed
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½ tsp cumin coriander powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • ½ tsp red or green chillies, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp coriander stalks and leaves, chopped

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Wash the aubergines, prick all over with a sharp knife and cook in the oven, on a high heat, for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a saucepan, and add the oil, cumin seeds and onions. Stir continuously until the onions are soft and lightly brown at the edges.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, black pepper, chillies and fenugreek, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Scoop out the aubergine pulp and add it to the pan, with the lemon juice, and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat. Add the chopped coriander. Cook for 1 minute and then serve inside the aubergine skin.

Watch how to make baked aubergine

Top tips for making baked aubergine

The only ingredient that can be hard to source in British shops is the fresh fenugreek. While most supermarkets sell the seeds (or ground powder from them) it's still rare to find fenugreek in the fresh herbs aisle. Try Indian supermarkets. If you can't find any, substitute in the leaves from the top of a bunch of celery instead. 

Why do you prick aubergine skin before baking?

The reason you need to prick the aubergines before you bake them is so that the hot air can escape from them as they cook. Otherwise, they can burst in the oven, which can be very messy.

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Samuel Goldsmith
Samuel Goldsmith

Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.