Bagara baigan- eggplant in peanut gravy
A warm salaam from the city of Nizams! As I sit to write down this post, a flood of nostalgia takes over my mind and emotions, after all it’s my home!! The place where the most beautiful part of my life was spent, my childhood. There is much more to heavenly hyderabad than just biryani and charminar. A city where two stark contrasts co exists like two sides of coin. One part of the city with its skyscraping apartments, hitech offices, malls, five star hotels and the other where the markets do not open before eleven in the morning and where every evening is a Eid in its crowded lanes and by lanes. The place which is known for its Irani hotels with their cutting chais, is also home to some spicy hot mirchi ka salan and bagara baigan as a part of its vast traditional food spread. Before the invasion of north Indian cuisine , this was the star dish at our family functions. This dish has lot of variations, but the basic recipe remains same, eggplants in peanut gravy.
- Brinjal/ eggplant (deep purple variety,small sized )- 13-15 in number
- Onions- 2 large
- Ginger garlic paste (preferably fresh)- 1 tablespoon
- vegetable oil- 3 table spoon
- tamarind water- half cup
- Peanuts – slightly less than ½ cup
- Sesame seeds– 1/8 cup
- Red chilly powder– 1 teaspoon
- Bay leaf- 2-3
- Cloves- 4-5
- Cardamom- 2-3
- Shahi jeera- ½ teaspoon
Preparation of dry powders and garam masala :
- Dry roast peanuts and sesame seeds one by one in a wok. Grind both of them together along with one teaspoon salt into a coarse powder and keep aside.
- Wash brinjals well, wipe it with a clean cloth.
- Make a’ +’ slit lengthwise without cutting it through and through. Keep the brinjals in cold water while cutting to prevent them from darkening.
- Stuff the peanut sesame powder into the slits of brinjal and keep aside in a plate.
- Dry roast all the spices other than bay leaf. Powder it in a mixer jar and keep aside.This will serve as a garam masala.
- Heat oil in a wok, once it is hot add bay leaves, half a teaspoon of garam masala and onions.
- Fry well till the onions turn light brown.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
- Now add the stuffed brinjals and cook them covering it with a lid, turning them intermittently. You can at this point transfer the contents into a microwave safe dish and cook in a microwave. It just speedens up the process.
- Once the brinjals are almost cooked, add tamarind water and bring it to boil.
- Add salt as per taste, red chilly powder and remaining peanut-sesame powder. Simmer the flame and allow the brinjals to absorb the gravy.
- Lastly add garam masala powder, mix well and turn off the flame.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with steaming hot rice.