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Saturday, June 25, 2016



Brinjal / Eggplant is a versatile vegetable used in all the cuisines worldwide. Bagara baingan is a popular Indian cuisine with eggplant/brinjal. Hyderabadi Baghara baingan was developed in Medieval India during the Mughal Empire with some ingredients like shahjeera, kalonji and cashews to make the dish rich and flavourful. 'Baghaar' means tempering. Tempering is a cooking technique in which spices are fried in oil or ghee to enhance the flavours, done at the beginning of cooking a dish, or added to a dish at the end of cooking. So you can name it as 'Bagara baingan' or say it as 'Hyderabadi Bhagara baingan' according to the ingredients used for the 'Baghaar'. I cooked it the 'NO ONION NO GARLIC' way. Keep an eye on the notes if using onions and garlic.


Small brinjals - 12
Tamarind - a keylime size OR Tamarind paste - 1.5 tablespoons
Ginger paste - 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Grated jaggery - 1 tsp.
Hing - a generous pinch
Finely chopped coriander leaves - few
Oil - 4 tablespoons
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste

To temper:
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

To dry roast and grind to a paste:
Coriander seeds - 3 tablespoons
Dry red chillies - 3
Peanuts(deskinned) - 2 tablespoons
White sesame - 1 tablespoon
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Dry coconut (kopparai) or dessicated coconut - 3 tablespoons
Cinnamon - 1" stick (optional)
Shahjeera - 1 tsp.
Kalonji - 1/2 tsp.
Cashews - 4


Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water, extract juice, strain and keep aside.

(NOTE: If using onions, fry onions in a spoon of oil, add a pinch of salt and saute until it becomes translucent. When cool grind it to a paste and keep aside.)

Dry roast the ingredients given in 'To dry roast and grind to a paste' separately one by one and when cool grind to a paste. NOTE: Kalonji and Shahjeera can be used in tempering as well. If using for tempering, skip it here.

Slit brinjals criss-cross with stem intact, rub little salt and stuff a spoon of the above ground paste and keep ready. Reserve the remaining paste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add the slit and stuffed brinjals with little turmeric powder and little salt and fry until the brinjals change its colour. Cook it covered in low flame for 3 minutes. Turn it to all sides in between. Remove the brinjals carefully, without breaking and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and ghee, temper with the given ingredients, and add the ginger paste. (NOTE: To those who use onion/garlic, add onion paste and ginger-garlic paste now and saute well). Add tamarind extract, chilli powder, salt, jaggery, hing and allow it to boil until the raw smell is diffused. Now add the ground paste and cook for 5 minutes in medium flame until it thickens. Stir frequently. Now add the shallow-fried brinjals, simmer the stove and cook until oil leaves the sides and everything is mixed well. You can add water to get the desired consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice topped with ghee, roti or jeera pulao.

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