Mama’s Punjabi Recipes: Bhune Baingan da Omelet (Roasted Eggplant Omelette)


In Indian cuisine, you can easily combine different types of vegetables to produce a tasty dish, with spices that balance the flavor you are creating. But when it comes to ande (eggs), Indian cuisine is not as creative as European and other western cuisines which rely of the egg’s binding properties, as in quiches or casseroles and cakes.

Though India is a predominantly vegetarian country, some vegetarians do eat eggs to supplement their protein intake.  With newer chicken raising farms and techniques in India, more and larger eggs are available in stores and even at street vendors, though eggs are not refrigerated, so you do have to watch for freshness. Most people visiting the country say that eggs taste better in India.

Ande are very popular all over India, but especially so in the north during winter time when you can get hot boiled eggs, peeled and sliced if you want, with spices, to warm you up. At home, ande are especially cooked for nashta (breakfast) an hour or two after morning chai (tea), as an omelet eaten with a crispy, hot parantha!

Chicken eggs supply protein through essential amino acids, vitamins A, B2, B9, B5, B12, and choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Vitamins A, D and E are in the egg yolk, which also has two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300mg of cholesterol. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 calories; the egg white contains about 15.

Eggplant (baingan) is a popular vegetable wherever you go and are very widely used in India. There are a variety of eggplants of different sizes, shapes and color, though typically purple. Eggplants have all the B vitamins, and are high in B9 (folate) as well as in calcium (1%), phosphorus (3%) and potassium (5%).

This recipe mixes the flavor of baingan with that of ande and is a refreshingly different type of fast food. It is a fusion of Indian spices and western tastes and the results are very satisfying for egg lovers.


• 1 thin long baingan (eggplant) – Chinese or Japanese style
• 2 large ande (eggs)
• 1 medium pyaaz (onion)
• 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil
• Spices (to taste): namak (salt), mirch (red pepper)



1. Place a few drops of oil on the eggplant and smear it all over the skin.
2. Roast the eggplant over an open flame in the traditional way. This allows the eggplant to take on a smoked, roasted flavor; so for best results, cook over a gas flame.
3. If you do not have a gas stove but only have an electric stove, place the eggplant in the oven on a metal tray and set on bake at 450 deg till it is soft in the middle. For ease of clean up, wrap the eggplant in aluminum foil. The cooked eggplant will shed water, so use a deep tray.
4. Remove the eggplant from the fire or oven and peel off the roasted skin. Be careful as it will be hot! You can place the roasted eggplant in a bowl of water in order to cool it down fast. Do not cut off the green stem.
5. Peel and cut the onion into fine pieces and place in a bowl. Break the eggs into the bowl and beat for several minutes. Add in the salt and red pepper and mix well.
6. Pour the eggs-onion mixture over the roasted eggplant and let it soak for one minute so that the eggplant is marinated with the spices.
7. Heat a skillet or frying pan on medium high and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
8. When the oil is hot, pour in the egg, onion and eggplant mixture and turn the heat down to low.
9. Let it cook for 1 minute then flip the pancake over carefully so that it doesn’t break. Let it cook for another minute but make sure the pancake is not too dry.
10. Serve on a dinner plate. The green stem sticking out adds a nice touch of color.




You may have experienced the disappointment and frustration of throwing out a vegetable that you bought some time ago simply because it rotted or dried up in the refrigerator. It is a case of from the store to the trash and a waste of money!

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The key to proper storage of fresh vegetables and breads in the fridge is to understand the types of containers to use. Artichokes (see photo), cauliflower, lettuce, and other stemmed vegetables last longer and don’t wilt if stored in clear plastic bags which are left slightly open. If you leave vegetables in the crisper section, be sure to turn them occasionally as the bottom side will tend to sag and ripen faster. If you have a half-cut onion (or other water-based veggie), place it cut-side up in a plastic container with a lid and not in a plastic bag, else it will shed water and rot.




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Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur (since renamed Faisalabad), India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes