Eggplants in a smooth nutty curry are a Hyderabadi specialty. Tender and fresh brinjals (small eggplants) are spiced with a ground peanut-sesame-coconut mixture and cooked in a rich and tangy sauce.
Bagara Baingan- Special Eggplant Curry
- Large heavy-bottomed skillet
- Spice grinder or small food processor
Wet Spice Paste
- 1 medium Red onion, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp Cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground
- 3 Green cardamom pods
- 6 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Ginger
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
Dry Spice Paste
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
- ¼ cup Peanuts
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp Unsweetened dry coconut, flaked or shredded
- 10 small Eggplants
- 5 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- 2 tsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Garam masala
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Tamarind concentrate dissolved in 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Jaggery or brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- Rinse eggplants and pat dry with paper towels. Slit eggplants, vertically down the middle, partially through.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, cover and add eggplants and fry until they change color and become a little soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Prepare Wet Paste
- Add oil to same pan. When it's hot, sauté cardamom, clove, and cinnamon stick for 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic paste and sauté until onions become soft, about 5 minutes. Let cool then grind into a smooth paste.
Prepare Dry Spices
- Using same pan, roast the peanuts for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the poppy seeds, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, and dry coconut. Stir-fry until coconut begins to turn light brown. Let cool then grind it coarsely.
- Heat remaining 3 tbsp oil in same pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and sauté until the moisture is absorbed and oil begins to separate, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the dried spices to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the coriander, red chili, garam masala, salt, and turmeric powder. Add the tamarind water and stir for 1 minute to break up any clumps.
- Gently add the eggplants being careful not to break them. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 4 minutes. Remove cover and mix in the jaggery. Cook, uncovered, for another 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle cilantro on top, and serve hot.