Food & Drink Magazine

Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy)

By Pavani @napavani
Blogging Marathon# 32: Letter B Theme: A-Z Vegetarian Dishes from Andhra Pradesh
Dish: B for Bagara Baingan (Baghare Baingan)
Letter B stands for veggies like Beerakaya (ridgegourd), Bendakaya (lady's finger/ okra) and one of my favorite greens Bachalikura. B is also for Bellam or jaggery, a unrefined sweetener that is used widely in both savory and sweet dishes in A.P.  With so many B's to choose from, I ended up choosing a dish that is very close to my heart (and tummy) and the city I'm from, Hyderabad. Hyderabadi cuisine is very famous for its Biryanis and other rich and delicious Mughal & Nizam influenced dishes. So being an eggplant lover, I couldn't think of anything else other than Bagara Baingan for the letter B.  Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy) This dish used to be a part of almost all of the wedding menus and other functions. But there seems to be a change of trend these days and my beloved bagara baingan is hardly ever made. Which means it is time to make it right at home. I already posted my mom's recipe here. Today's recipe is adapted from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer.
Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy) Ingredients: Baby Eggplants - 12 small, slit them ¾s of the way through by making an 'X'
Peanuts - ½cup (use the ones without skins, if available)
Sesame seeds - 2tbsp
Poppy seeds - 1tbsp
Whole Coriander seeds - 1tsp
Dry grated coconut - ½cup
Red Onion - 1 small, thinly sliced
Kashmiri red chili powder - 2tsp (or mix 1tsp cayenne with 1tsp sweet paprika)
Turmeric - ½tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Dry red chilies - 4, stems removed
Ginger + garlic paste - 2tsp
Tamarind paste - 2tbsp
Salt - to taste
Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy) Method:
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the peanuts and cook, stirring constantly until they turn lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer them to a medium-size bowl.
  • Next sprinkle the sesame, poppy and coriander seeds into the same hot skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn reddish brown and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the seeds to the peanuts.
  • Add the grated coconut to the skillet and toast until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add this to the peanut-spice mixture.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil to the skillet; add onions and stir fry until they turn lightly browned all over, about 7-10 minutes. Place these onions with the oil that's leftover on the peanuts mixture. Let cool slightly, then grind into a thick paste along with 1 cup of water, red chili powder, salt and turmeric.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the eggplants and cover and cook until their skins blister and they are fork-tender, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer the eggplants to a plate.
  • Heat 2tbsp oil in the same skillet, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and the dry red chilies. Cook for 5-10 seconds. Immediately add ginger+garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the paste turns light brown and has absorbed the colors and aromas from the skillet.
  • Now add the peanut-coconut paste along with ½cup of water. Add the eggplants and mix gently to coat them with the sauce. Reduce the flame to medium-low; cover the skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the eggplants have absorbed the flavors from the gravy, about 5-10 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice or bagara rice or roti.
Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy) Bagara Baingan (Hyderabadi Baby Eggplants in Peanut-Coconut Gravy)
Logo courtesy : Preeti
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32.

Previously on this Series:
A for Aava Pettina Aratikaya Kura Signature

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