Keema Bharta Borani

French-Indian. Mexican-Japanese. Thai-Chinese. Fusion cuisine? Not really my brand of gin.

But when you have a family who is originally Afghan, now settled in Pakistan- invariably, there will be lots of ‘fusion-cuisine’ type of dishes prepared in the kitchen.

Baingan bharta is a soft, earthy and velvety mound of mashed aubergine; a typical Pakistani vegetarian dish.

It has notes of cumin, caramelized onions and is spiced up with red chili pepper or fresh green chilies.

In this case , the bharta is crowned with yoghurt and savoury mince, like borani– a quintessential Afghan/Persian dish.

Instead of the traditional Pakistani way of adding fresh coriander leaves, we use mint to add another dimension of fresh flavour, just like with borani.

Eat with Basmati rice, naan or chapati.

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Keema Bharta Borani- Aubergine & Savoury Mince Borani in the Afghan / Pakistani Manner

Yield: 4
Author: Shayma Saadat


  • pre-heat your oven to 425F


  • 2 large aubergine
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium + ½ a small onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds (zeera)
  • 2 small green chilies chopped (de-seed if you want less heat)
  • 1 lb mince meat, beef, (not lean)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 7 oz tomato sauce/stewed or chopped tomatoes/passata
  • pinch chili pepper
  • pinch turmeric
  • Greek or other thick yogurt like labneh
  • handful of fresh mint, torn by hand


Prepare the savoury mince

  • In a heavy-bottomed pan add meat, salt, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ minced onion, tomato paste, 7 oz tomato sauce, a pinch of chili pepper and turmeric, 1 cup water. Stir, cover and leave to cook on a low-medium flame for one hour.
  • Stir/check every 20 minutes to make sure the liquid is evaporating and the meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • When the water has evaporated and the mince looks 'saucy', stir and turn the heat off.
  • Set aside.

Prepare the bharta

  • Turn your oven to 425F.
  • Pierce aubergine with a fork and lay them on a tray lined with aluminium foil in the oven for one hour and twenty minutes.
  • When they are almost ready, they will appear to be wilted and soft.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Scoop out the flesh from the aubergines, discarding the skin.
  • Set aside.
  • Add olive oil to a large frying pan and place on medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 medium chopped onion and stir, when the onions start to turn golden, add cumin seeds and sauté for one minute till fragrant.
  • Add aubergine flesh, salt and chilies and turn heat to high.
  • Sauté rigorously for 5 minutes, till you see that all the excess liquid has been absorbed.
  • Turn heat off and set aside.


  • The bharta and savoury mince should be warmed before serving.
  • Spread a layer of bharta at the bottom of a large dish.
  • Slather in the middle with yoghurt like in the photo above, allowing bharta to peek out from the sides.
  • Arrange savoury mince on top.
  • Garnish with fresh mint.
  • Serve with chapati, naan or basmati rice.

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  1. Simply Delicious! Love it! I have never tried Keema Bharta Borani before…I will definitely make it for my family now! Thank you for posting the recipe!

  2. I’m generally not a fan of fusion either, but Pakistani and Afghani are close enough and this combines some of my favorite things.

    Husbo would also love this, besides chanay, he is a keema fantatic!

    ps-love the little leaf in the first pic!

  3. Beautiful photography. I love the pictures of those eggplants. Fusion has gotten a bad reputation for good reason. There are a lot of terrible fusion restaurants in America. But so much of what we eat in America and the Middle East fusion (influenced by immigrants and refugees), and it’s wonderful.

  4. Thanks all for your lovely comments.

    @FoodJihadist You are right, immigrant / refugee cooking is very unique. Quite different than the forgettable samosa with rabbit meat I had a Tabla in NY (French Indian fusion).

    @Kim Thank you for visiting. The difference between this dish and Bonjon Keema is the way in which the aubergine has been prepared. Bonjon Keema is prepared in a typical Afghan manner- in this recipe we prepare the aubergine with onions, green chilies and cumin, which is quintessentially Pakistani. Plus, the aubergine is roasted in the oven and mashed, whereas we fry sliced aubergine in Bonjon Keema. Hope this answers your question.

  5. and we punjabis would call it Baingan da bharta ;o) i love the extra dimension with the keema on this. just perfect and while we’d serve them separately I totally see the flavor fusion of this as one dish!

  6. Oh wow Shayam!
    I’m so glad I directed to this recipe through twitter. I would never think of putting baigan bharta hai keema together in a plate but your recipe just made me wanna try it at home. Thanx a lot for sharing. Now I have a new idea while I entertain people.

  7. It looks gorgeous. Its new for me – all am used is is Bharta. I should get some keema and make do your recipe. It sounds awesome with some hot chapatis!

  8. beautiful photos and lovely recipe — can’t wait to try it!
    hope you are having a good monday. i nearly burned a round of corn muffins!

  9. Shayma – it looks lovely – will try it the next time I can persuade the beef man to brave the Delhi floods. I know what you mean about fusion – it has such pretentious connotations. But food does cross over that’s one of the fascinating things. Believe it or not we make bharta as part of our Uparwali Chai ‘English’ High Tea – with Melba Toast!

  10. What a wonderful recipe, Shayma joon! I love this combination of eggplant, yogurt and mince. The first picture looks so beautiful!

  11. You are making me hungry with your -traditional-looking- fusion dish! Love the yogurt, mince and eggplant spiked with chili and herbs, combo; reminds me of our fatteh. Great photography as usual.

  12. Lovely photos as usual, that look sooo good you know that they’ll taste delicious.

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