Hello friends, I’m back to blogging after a long break!! Thanks to all those who reached out to know my well being….All good 🙂 I’m back with a bang to share the most popular Culinary delicacy from the city of Nizam – Bagara Baingan Hyderabadi Style, where baby eggplants are cooked in a zesty way with a very unique blend of nutty spices. Once you nail the spice profile that works best with eggplant, you can transform this simple veggie into a delicious dish.
“Bagara” means tempering the oil with spices, an age old traditional Indian cooking method to enhance the aroma of any dish and “Baingan” is baby eggplant or brinjal. Basically, in Bagara Baingan Hyderabadi Style, we are tempering oil with spices and mixing it with baby eggplants. The traditional method requires baby eggplants to be deep fried in oil……but, I just shallow fry them with less oil. I prefer this method because eggplants absorb too much oil when you deep fry them, whereas shallow frying yields almost the same crispy skin but with less oil. Most importantly, you can enjoy with less guilt. The biggest advantage of this curry is that it is equally loved by vegetarians and non-vegetarians….and also works perfectly if you are a vegan.
Without further ado let’s jump into the recipe for Bagara Baingan Hyderabadi Style!!
A little insight into the Hyderabadi cuisine:
Hyderabadi Cuisine (native: Hyderabadi Ghizaayat), also known as Deccani cuisine, It is the native cooking style of the Hyderabadi Muslims, and began to develop after the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanate, and more drastically with the Qutb shahi dynasty around the city of Hyderabad, promoting the native cuisine along with their own. Hyderabadi cuisine had become a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad State, as it began to further develop further on from there. It is an amalgamation of Mughal, Turkish, and Arabic along with the influence of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Get more info on this cuisine from here.
Easy Steps to prepare Bagara Baingan Hyderabadi Style :
Click below to watch a quick Video……continue reading for a detailed pictorial recipe!!
Prepping the eggplants:
- Wash the baby eggplants and slit them perpendicularly in the centre from the base of each eggplant (make a +). Keep the stem intact.
- Add eggplants to salt water for few minutes to retain its deep purple colour and to prevent browning.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a pan.
- Remove eggplants from water and pat them dry, place in the pan and add a little salt.
- Close with a lid and shallow fry eggplants over medium heat until soft and the skin is slightly crisp. Insert a fork into the eggplants to make sure that eggplants are well cooked.
- Turn off the heat and keep them aside for later use.
Preparing the masala paste:
- Heat a pan over medium heat with 1 teaspoon oil. You can also dry roast on low heat.
- Roast the ingredients listed for the spice paste adding one after the other.
- Start off with peanuts, roast for 2 min. and then add coriander seeds followed by cinnamon and cloves. Roast for a minute.
- Now add sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Roast for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and finally add coconut and roast it on the left over heat of the pan.
- Allow the mixture to cool and blend in a mixer to a coarse paste (first without adding any water).
- Then, add a little water and grind to a fine paste (don’t add too much water at once, add little by little).
Making the curry:
- Heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
- Once the mustard seeds pop up, add in chopped onions and green chillies.
- Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and mix well.
- Now, add in chopped tomatoes and sauté until the tomatoes turn soft.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and mix well.
- Now, add in the ground spice paste. Fry gently for few more minutes till it leaves oil.
- Squeeze the tamarind and add the juice to the gravy. Add salt, jaggery and mix well.
- Add some water (1 cup) to get the desired consistency you are looking for and bring it to boil.
- Lower the heat and gently place the eggplants in it.
- Simmer for few minutes till done.
- Balance the flavours, check for the seasonings, adjust the sourness with salt and remove from the heat.
- Serve hot Baghare Baingan with Hyderabadi biryani, vegetable pulao or coconut milk rice.
- You can also enjoy it with puri, roti, paratha, naan or just plain rice. In any case its a sure winner.
A Quick Summary:
- 6-8 Baby Eggplants whole (make a + with stem intact)
For Masala Paste:
- ¼ Cup Raw Peanuts
- 2 Tablespoons Coriander Seeds
- 1 Cm Cinnamon Stick
- 3 Cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Grated Fresh Coconut
- 3-4 Tablespoons Oil divided
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
- ½ cup Finely Chopped Onion
- 1 ½ teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 2 Tomatoes roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1-2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 2-3 Tablespoons Tamarind Pulp
- 1 teaspoon Jaggery Powder
- Salt to taste
- Coriander chopped
- Wash, pat dry eggplants and slit them perpendicularly in the centre.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a pan, place eggplants, add a little salt and shallow fry until tender. Set aside.
Preparing Masala paste:
- Heat a pan over medium heat with 1 teaspoon oil.
- Start off with peanuts, roast for 2 min. and then add coriander seeds followed
- by cinnamon and cloves. Roast for a minute.
- Now, add sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Roast for a minute.
- Turn off the heat and finally add coconut and roast on the left over heat of the pan.
- Cool down and grind to a fine paste.
Making the curry:
- Heat 1-2 Tablespoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Add mustard & fenugreek seeds.
- Add chopped onions, green chillies & sauté until onions turn translucent.
- Then, add ginger garlic paste, followed by chopped tomatoes. Sauté until they turn soft.
- Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder and mix well.
- Now, add in the ground spice paste, sauté until it leaves oil.
- Add tamarind pulp, salt & jaggery.
- Add 1 cup water and bring it to boil.
- Gently place shallow fried eggplants, simmer & cook for few minutes until done.
- The baby eggplants are integral to this dish, but if you do not have access to these, then you can substitute with any eggplant which are readily available everywhere. But, make sure to dice them into big chunks.
- You can remove the stems of the baby eggplants if you don’t like to it on. But, the stems help the eggplant to keep it intact while cooking.
- If you wish, you can also deep fry the baby eggplants instead of shallow frying.
Hope you enjoyed Bagara Baingan Hyderabadi Style !!
Many more to come!!…..STAY TUNED!!
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