A classic Hyderabadi dish made with Eggplant and packed with a lot of flavor. A perfect accompaniment for flavored rice and rotis. A gift from the Mughals that's unbelievably vegan!
Bagara Baingan is a very popular vegan dish from the city of Hyderabad. It is said to have originated during the Mughal era. A rich and aromatic curry, that will be a star at your next gathering! Bagara means tempering of spices and Baingal means Eggplant aka Brinjal.
This dish calls for tender baby eggplants that can cook through easily. If you have medium sized ones, just slice them and use it in the preparation. The appearance of the dish will vary but definitely not the taste!
The gravy is key to the recipe. Make sure its nice and smooth. I use a high power blender Blendec for all the gravies. But, just about any blender would do the trick.
There are couple of variations to this dish. Some stuff the eggplant before frying and then dunk it in the gravy. This is referred as "Nune Vankaya Kura" in Telugu and often served with white rice. The recipe below uses a lot more spices and is a simpler variant can be relished with Pulav, biryani or rotis.
Ready in 30 minutes Serves 4 people
● 15 Baby Brinjals
● 4 tbsp Oil
● 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
● A sprig of Curry leaves
● 2 tsp Tamarind paste
● 1 tsp Turmeric powder
● 1 tbsp Jaggery powder
● Salt to taste
● Cilantro for garnish
● 1 medium Onion
● 1 inch Ginger grated
● 6 Kashmiri red chills ( Reduce for regular dry red chilis)
● 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
● 4 clove garlic chopped
● 2 tbsp Sesame seeds
● 1/4 cup Peanuts
● 2 tbsp Poppy seeds
● 1/2 cup Grated coconut ( Fresh or Desiccated)
Prep the Eggplant
1. Wash the eggplants.
2. Make a + cut on the smooth side of the eggplant until you reach 1/2 cm away from the stem. It should look like a tulip at this point. This will enable the inside to cook well. You can either remove the stem or retain it.
2. Add oil in a pan and roast these eggplants with a lid until cooked. Just make sure they don't get squishy. Sprinkle a bit of salt and toss. Set them aside.
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté them until golden brown.
5. Add all the other ingredients mentioned in the "Masala Paste" section of the Ingredients in the order mentioned. Make sure they turn aromatic. Turn off the stove
6. Take the ingredients in a blender. Add 1/4 cup water and grind it into a smooth gravy.
7. Add some oil in a pan and add Mustard seeds. Once they splutter. Add the masala paste. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt. Stir in the Gaggery and Tamarind.
8.Give it a quick stir and let it simmer for a good 10 min until oil starts releasing from the sides.
9. Add water and adjust to the desired gravy consistency and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
10. Now gently add the roasted baby eggplants and let it simmer for a good 10 min. handle them gently.
Bagara baingan is now ready to be served!
Serve hot with Rotis, basmati rice or Biryani.