Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan

Fried eggplant in a rich peanut and sesame gravy, a legacy of the Nizam rule of Hyderabad in India
Ingredients - Serves 7-8
  • 500 g eggplants, use whole baby eggplants or alternatively cut into large chunks
  • oil, for deep frying
  • For the gravy
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp white poppy seeds or khus-khus, optional
  • ¾ cup dried coconut, shredded, optional
  • 5-6 green chillies (adjust based on your spice/heat tolerance)
  • 20 g tamarind
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or ½ tbsp ginger, crushed and ½ tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds, optional
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • Salt, to taste
  1. To prepare the eggplants
    1. If using small baby eggplants, leaving the stem intact, make 5 slits (like *) along the length of the eggplant. It is important that the eggplant is held together at the stem
    2. Otherwise, simply cut into large cubes
    3. Deep fry in hot oil, drain on kitchen towels and set aside
    4. Use a {deep fryer} if you want to. A deep saucepan will do just as well
  2. To make the gravy
    1. Cook the tamarind with ½ cup of water in the {microwave} on high for 30 seconds. Cool and squeeze out the tamarind juice. Discard the seeds and fibre and set the juice aside
    2. Roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, khus-khus (poppy seeds) and dry coconut until everything starts to brown
    3. Grind along with the green chillies. Add up to 1 cup of water in small amounts to facilitate grinding and make a smooth paste
    4. Use a {spice mill}, {Indian mixie grinder} or {magic bullet} or something similar. Regular blenders are too large, so they will just toss the contents around instead of grinding them
    5. In a saucepan, heat 3 tbsp of oil. Add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and fry till the mustard seeds splutter
    6. Add ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric and saute for a minute
    7. Add the ground peanut-sesame paste and fry until you can see oil starting to separate from the mixture. Keep stirring and don't let anything stick to the pan
    8. Add the tamarind juice and 2 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil
    9. Bring down to a simmer, add the fried eggplant and cook covered for 5 minutes
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