Bagara Baingan

Eggplant which is also known as brinjal or aubergine is an exotic vegetable
It is called Vankaya in Andhra Pradesh, Katharikai in Tamil Nadu, Badanekayi in Karnataka and Baingan in the northern parts of India
Most people either love the vegetable or loathe it. This is one of my favourite vegetables and is very popular in Italian cuisine as well

Eggplants comes in different sizes – large, medium or small.
Dark Purple, Pale Green and White are generally smooth and plain. The light violet version is plain or with light stripes.

This particular dish is generally made with the small dark purple eggplant and is very popular in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and hence also called Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan!!!

Ingredients to serve 6

8-10 Small Eggplant (Aubergine)
½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 Inch Piece Tamarind (soaked in hot water)
3 Tbs Oil

Masala Powder

2 Tsp Coriander Seeds
2 Tbs Raw Peanuts
2 Tbs White Sesame Seeds
1-2 Dry Red Chilli

 Gravy

1 Small Onion (chopped in quarters)
2 Small Tomatoes (chopped in quarters) or
50 grams Tomato Paste
1 Inch Piece Fresh Ginger (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (peeled and chopped)
¼ Cup water (optional)
2-3 Tsp Salt

Preparation

Chop the top caps of the eggplant and slit through it making four or five pieces without chopping it completely.
Stuff a pinch of turmeric powder into each of the slit eggplants.   Microwave for 6-7 minutes and keep aside

Extract the tamarind juice to make half a cup
In a large pan, dry roast the masala powder ingredients for a few minutes on a medium flame

Grind the onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, salt  together with the masala powder mix with the extracted tamarind juice into a fine mixture and keep aside.

In the large pan, add the oil and stir through the masala mix.
Saute for 3-4 minutes on a low flame and slide in the cooked eggplant
Add half a cup of water, cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes on a very low flame

Freshy chopped coriander leaves can be used for garnishing

This exotic gravy is ready to be served with rotis , puris or plain cooked basmati rice

Note:  Roasted Peanuts may be used in which case only the remainder of the masala powder ingredients need to be ground.   A teaspoon of Raw Fennel Seeds may also be used when grinding the gravy mix.  It is preferable to use the fennel seeds to suit to the taste of the individuals as some may not like too much spice in the dish!!!

 

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