Austin Baingan Bharta, 450g [reviewed]

I was quite surprised and amused to see a can of baingan ka bharta staring back at me from the Amazon page I was browsing.

I’ve seen various sabzisdals and so on, in ready to eat packs, but never baingan ka bharta. This afternoon, I thought I’d serve it to Cherie for lunch, with a few parathas, some lemon pickle and the requisite raw onions.

First off, the homogeneity or uniform texture of the product was a bit of a turn off. Regular, home made baingan ka bharta has visible seeds, flesh in chunks, is somewhat smoky from being charred and so on. This was closer to a puree and immediately brought to mind the one word that stood out on the packaging – sterilised.

The taste has common notes with every ready to eat product I’ve tasted, was somewhat reminiscent of regular baingan ka bharta, apart from which the product had no character – no discernible texture, taste or view. The good news is, it wasn’t inedible or unpleasant and both of us finished our platters with little comment, negative or positive.

That said, as with most processed foods, the product has very high levels of sodium, one can containing a person’s entire sodium allowance for the day. It also is fairly high in calories with a 100 gm portion delivering 170 calories. Combine that with 200 calories per paratha and say you’re eating two portions of each – bharta and paratha, which comes to about 740 calories, not counting any additions to your plate. That isn’t earth shattering, though it is something you should know, considering the average person consumes a 2000 calorie diet, of which 740 calories is a significant portion.

I suggest keeping a couple of cans of Austin Baingan Bharta on hand for emergencies, unforeseen guests or other such situation.

Brand/ManufacturerAustin Foods & Beverages Pvt. Ltd.
ProductBaingan Bharta
Container size450g
PriceINR 140 (on Amazon)
Serving size100g
Pack size450g
Calories per serving170
Calories per container765
Ease of useVery easy
TasteAcceptable
Visual appealLow
Sodium content per serving439mg
Sodium content per container1975mg
Significant source ofIron
Recommended forEmergencies, camping, picnics etc.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.