Eggplant or Baingan is a great vegetable but I have seen that many people do not like it. I feel, if you cook it the right way, it is one of the best vegetables ever. Its so meaty and just YUMMM :) A couple of years back , we were invited to our friend's place for dinner. My friend Nigar had made BAGARA BAINGAN. Nigar is a great cook, cooks everything really good but this dish was just awesome. To be honest, i tasted this dish for the first time at her place and simply loved it. I wanted to make this dish eversince but never got around to it. Finally when I made it, it did came out great. Its funny whenever i try making a dish for the first time and it comes out perfect , the feeling is amazing... as if i hit a jackpot..:)..Told u its funny but its just me :)
So here is how you can make this tasty dish...
- 6-8 small eggplants (baingan or brinjal)
- 2 tbsp peanuts
- 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp dry coconut powder
- 1 small lemon sized tamarind ball
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp garlic grated
- 1/4 tsp kalonji or nigella seeds
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds or methi seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 medium size onion finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin or jeera powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or as per taste)
- 1 tbsp Jaggery (increase or decrease this amount depending on your taste)
- Salt as per taste
- 4 -5 Curry leaves
- 1 tbsp oil + oil for deep frying
- Wash the eggplant and pat them dry. Heat the oil for deep frying. Make four slits (length wise) on the eggplants but leave the stem on so that the eggplants remain joined in the stem.
- Deep fry these eggplants in the hot oil until they are 80 percent done. Cook them till they are almost done. We want the eggplants to retain their form and not fall apart. Remove the fried eggplants and set it aside.
- Dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds and the dry coconut powder separately.
- Grind the roasted ingredients in to a smooth paste.
- Soak the tamarind in some hot water for 30 minutes. Mash the tamarind and strain it to get the tamarind water. Set it aside
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. When the oil is hot add Mustard seeds ( rai ), kalonji ,fenugreek (methi) seeds and curry leaves .
- Now add the chopped onion and the grated ginger garlic. (If you do not like getting pieces of onion or a bite of ginger or garlic, you can also make a puree of onion and use ginger garlic paste instead. That way, you will get a smooth gravy. )
- When the onions have turned translucent and cooked, add the dry masalas ( turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder). Mix well.
- Now add the ground nut sesame paste and mix. Cook for some time. Once the paste has cooked for a bit , add the tamarind water, salt and jaggery. At this point you can add some water to adjust the constistency of the gravy.Bring it to a boil.
- Now add the fried eggplants in the gravy slowly. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. This will ensure that all the flavors in the gravy get infused in the eggplants.
- Serve it with hot and spicy biryanis or pulaos.
Also check out the video on my youtube channel