Vegetarian

Baghare baingan – Baby eggplants in rich, aromatic sauce

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What is the first word that pops in your mind when you hear the word Hyderabad – Biryani! Well, hyderabadi cuisine is full of many rich and aromatic delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Some of the most common ones are Haleem, Kebabs, Mirchi ka salan, and Baghare baigan. This cuisine boasts of a cultural heritage that dates back to the times of nawabs and mughals. Hyderabadi food gets its richness from nuts, ghee and exotic spices which fills the air with “oh, so yummy!” aroma with its slow cooking techniques.

Baghare baigan has become my most favorite eggplant dish lately. It has my favorite flavor profile – nutty yet creamy, rich, spicy and tangy – it takes you on a gastronomical ride for sure!

You have to try it to experience it!!

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Recipe                                             Servings: 4-6                                 Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 baby eggplants
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp. grated coconut
  • 3 whole red chilies
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped (You can use 1 Tbsp. of tamarind pulp instead)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, whole red chilies and grated coconut in a pan.
  2. Make a smooth paste with the roasted spices using little water.
  3. Wash and slit the eggplants lengthwise (like an X) at the base, leaving the stem intact.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  5. Add the sliced onions and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for few minutes until the onions caramelize.
  6. Now add ginger-garlic paste, ground paste mixture, turmeric powder, turmeric and salt. Sauté till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
  7. Add tomatoes and eggplants fry for another 5-6 minutes.
  8. Add about 1/2 cup water and cook covered over a low flame till the eggplants are soft and the spice mixture is well incorporated with the eggplants.
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  10. Serve with rice, chapatis, parathas, naan, or biryani!

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Notes:

  • Traditionally, the eggplants are deep fried first and then added to the spice mixture. You can shallow fry them too!
  • I used tomatoes, as I did not have tamarind. Make it with tamarind for a more authentic taste.
  • Add cashew paste for a richer flavor.

baghare baingan

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