Bagaar-e-Baingan

Ingredients:
Eggplant:1 large or Brinjals or LongToms: 500gm – strip peeled/diced/de-bittered/rinsed
Onion:1 sliced
Potato:1 peeled/diced/rinsed
Capsicum:1 green or red- optional – diced
Green Chillies:2 cut pieces/de-seeded
Garlic:1 clove chopped or 1 tsp minced
Tomato:1 peeled & diced
Tamarind:1 tsp puree or paste
Brown Sugar:2 tsp
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Salt:2 tsp
Oil:½ cup
Peanuts: 100gm fried or dry roasted
Coriander leaves:2-3 tbsp chopped – to garnish

Masala = Curry Paste
Coriander Seeds:3 tbsp
Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
Cinnamon:3-4 pieces or ½ tsp powder
Dry Red Chillies:3
Fenugreek seeds:½ tsp
Sesame seeds:4 tbsp
Coconut:fresh grated or desiccated: 100gm
Chana Dal = Bengal Gram:1 tsp
Urad Dal = Black Gram:1 tsp

In a wok, dry roast lightly coriander, cumin, fenugreek, sesame seeds, chana, urad dal separately; put them together in a bowl to cool; now add 1 tsp of oil into the wok, put in cinnamon pieces followed by red chillies; put all these roasted spices together with coconut, tamarind puree, brown sugar, ½ a tsp turmeric, 3 tsp oil, ½ tsp salt and little water in a blender; grind to a smooth paste; set aside

Tempering
Oil, Black Mustard seeds ½ tsp, Cumin seeds ½ tsp, Urad dal ½ tsp, Asafoetida pinch, Dry red chilli-broken pieces, Curry leaves few

Preparation
Step1. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil (taken from the ½ cup required for the curry), in a wok or a heavy based frypan; Step2. put in mustard & cumin seeds, let sizzle for 30 sec; add urad daal, asafoetida, chilli pieces and curry leaves; (take care in retaining urad daal & chillie pieces to light brown in the hot tempering; if darkened, all flavor is lost); Step3. now add onions, garlic, green chillies and saute for 5 min; Step4. next add potatoes, turmeric and ½ tsp salt, little water, mix well; put the lid on, let potatoes cook for 5 min; check to see the bottom is not catching by turning potato mixture over and around; cook for further 5 min; Step5. now add eggplant & capsicum; sprinkle remaining turmeric, salt & oil; fold them over, cover to cook/fry for 5 min; again mix well around gently; Step6. add tomato & cook further 5 min; Step7. now add Masala Paste; fold it all over the curry mixture with little water to loosen the paste; cover and let the curry simmer on low heat for 5 min. Step8. check not to let the vegetables & masala paste catch & burn at the bottom of the wok or frypan Step9. check if potatoes & eggplants are tender, if yes, turn off the heat, if not let it simmer for further 5 min; Step10. Garnish with peanuts and coriander leaves.

Variation 1: if using small round brinjals for GuttiVonkaya, slit each brinjal crossways; stuff with
1 teaspnful of Masala Paste; same with LongToms that are cut to 2 inch length pieces, slit to half length crossways and stuffed with masala paste; then added to tempered/ sauteed onions, steam-cooked & fried
Variation 2: Few Roasted Peanuts can be added to Masala Spices during grinding the paste & 1tsp. Garam Masala to the tempered/sautéed onions for extra flavor and taste.

Serve Hot with Roti/Chapati, Naan, Parratha, Puri, Wraps, Steamed Rice, Jeera/PulaoRice; accompaniments- Cucumber Raita, Kachambar, Lassi, Green Salad, Papadums, Pickle

Rupa Rao