Bhagarey Baigan – Fried Brinjal in gravy

Usually I reserve the small brinjals for making a nice spicy sambhar, but then yesterday I tried a new recipe. The recipe, I noticed, is a common dish to both the South Indian cuisine and Pakistani cuisine. May be a few ingredients differ but the preparation style is the same. This authentic Hyderabadi dish is traditionally served with pulao or biryani. The blend of tamarind juice with the ground masala adds a special flavour to this dish. The aroma of the dish fills the air while cooking on low flame. The ingredients for this recipe suggested dry coconut, but instead of coconut for a healthy addition to your meal try Soya flour or Peanut powder. The combination in which I served this dish for dinner was – ‘Bhagarey Baigan’ with steamed white rice, capsicum-potato subzi, papad and pickle. Try it, you’ll enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • Brinjal (small) 8
  • Oil
  • Curry Leaves
  • Ginger-garlic paste tbsp 1-2
  • Turmeric Powder tsp 1
  • Chilli Powder tsp 1/2
  • Green Chilli 3-4
  • Tamarind Juice cup 1/4
  • Water cup 1
  • Salt to taste

For the masala:

Roast in 1 tbsp oil and grind together-

  • 1/4 of a medium sized dry coconut (grated) or use 1 tsp of peanut powder or ½ tsp of soya flour
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds/ khus-khus
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds/til
  • 2 tbsp peanuts without skin

Method:

  • Cut each Brinjal into four, almost all the way down, but keeping the base intact.
  • Wash and rub salt all over and set aside for 7-10 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, when hot, squeeze out water from the Brinjal and deep fry them 4 at a time carefully, and ensure not to break the stock. Alternatively – Heat oil in a wide pan and shallow fry the Brinjal till colour changes. Try to avoid using excess oil.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in another pan or vessel, when hot add curry leaves, ginger and garlic. Stir quickly and ensure not to burn the curry leaves.
  • Add the ground masala. Fry on a low flame for few minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and green chillies. Stir-fry again for few seconds.
  • Now add the tamarind juice, water and salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the flame and arrange the Brinjals in a single layer in the gravy.
  • Cook covered on a low flame for about 5 minutes, stirring in intervals carefully, so that the Brinjals do not break.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice, papad and pickle. Or can also be had with puris or rotis.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes (to save time while shallow frying the Brinjals, grind the masala)

Serves: 6

Tips:

  • If preferred add more tamarind juice for a tangier taste.
  • Use just the right quantity of sesame seeds and peanuts depending on the no of brinjals and masala quantity as these ingredients may overpower the dish.
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