Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan

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I’ve finally mustered enough time and settled on writing a post for 2015. For a few months, I had contemplated if I should even be writing a food blog, and I was in search of a reason to really sit down and write a post. I then decided that this is something I never can let go, and that “OhTastenSee” will live on, and I should make time for it. The question of whether to blog or not settled, I now had to come up with a recipe that would be my come back recipe. I literally dreamed of making, photographing and writing up this amazing innovative recipe. Several days of day dreaming later, I sat down today and realized working for a perfect timing and/or recipe is never gonna work and to blog the next dish I make – that has never made it to my blog. And so here it is: “Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan”.

But before I go to the recipe, I want to announce the winner of my 500th post event. I had announced the event in October and had November was when the event closed. I had not been able to announce the winner, and I apologize for the delay. The winner is: Sneha Datar of Sneha’s Recipes. Thanks Sneha for your comment and thanks to everyone who participated.

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Now on to Bagara Baingan. Eggplant is one of my most favorite vegetables -as you can tell by a large number of Eggplant recipes on this blog. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
10 – 12 small purple brinjals
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped fine
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 cup of tamarind extract
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp jaggery
1 tsp ginger garlic paste

For the spice paste:
1 medium onion, 1 chopped
2 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds(kalonji)
1/2 tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp dessicated coconut

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Method:
Dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, methi and mustard seeds. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and fry the chopped onions until golden.
Add this to the dry roasted ingredients along with the dessicated coconut. Let this cool and grind to a paste adding enough water.

Select small eggplants, and make an ‘X’ at the base of the eggplant, still keeping it whole. This allows the flavors of the masala to soak through. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same pan and shallow fry the slit eggplants until it is golden and cooked. Remove and set aside.

Heat rest of the oil and crackle cumin seeds and fry chopped onions and curry leaves.Add ginger garlic paste and fry further.
Add the ground paste,turmeric powder,salt and chilli powder and fry.Add tamarind water and jaggery and let it boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes.Add the fried eggplant in the gravy and simmer it for few minutes until the gravy thickens and the eggplant absorb the flavors.

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Verdict: This gravy is so tasty and the eggplants are cooked perfectly, absorbing every element of the gray. There is a balance of sweet, spicy and a bite from the coconut. It went perfectly with pulav for lunch and with rotis later for dinner. Amazing flavor combinations!

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