Bengena Pitika: Assamese Roasted Eggplant Mash
Image Credit: RumiCooks

As humble as most home cooking around India can be, you’d be surprised to discover how flavoursome dishes with only a handful of ingredients can be. Around many of the northern and north eastern parts of India, the chokha, pora or pitika are included as components of a meal. What this essentially is, is a smoky, spicy side dish of roasted and mashed eggplant or potato, mixed with onions, chillies and coriander, that pack a punch during an otherwise simple and mellow-spiced meal.

The heady aromas of the fresh aromatics combined with a spicy punch from the mustard oil is perfect to eat with piping hot rice or rotis. The bengana pitika or roasted eggplant mash, derives its name from the cooking technique that involves roasting the eggplant on a naked flame – like a stovetop or log fire. Considered as comfort food in Assamese households, it is often eaten as part of afternoon meals or suppers. Find a recipe to make a serving of your own, below.



Image Credits: Food Club with Dipankar/YouTube

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh red chillies, smashed
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 pieces fermented fish (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil


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  • On a stovetop, roast the tomatoes and eggplant whole, until charred on all sides. Allow it to sit on a tray until cool enough to touch and peel off the blackened skin.
  • Using a fork or masher, mash the roasted vegetables together in a bowl until pulpy but chunky. Salt this mixture generously and mix well.
  • Smash the green chillies and fermented fish using a mortar and pestle. Tip into the mash.
  • Add the onions and chopped coriander and mix thoroughly. Serve with boiled rice, a wedge of lime and a raw green chilli.