Thursday, 29 January 2015

Andhra Special Bhagara Baingan (Eggplant in Peanut Sauce)

There are various Bhagara Baingan recipes on net and this cuisine is a specialty of Hyderabad but I find my recipe to be appealing. However, I will not be able to assure you with the authentication of this cuisine as I have altered the recipe according to my taste bud and flavor. The dominant flavor of white cumin seeds tends to put me off so I replaced it with shahi jeera or black cumin seeds. Apart from that, I thought adding aromatic spices such as cinnamon, star anise and clove would elevate the flavor of this eggplant dish to another level. Blending these spices with coriander seeds and lots of dry red chillies add more appetizing colour and compensate with the richness from the peanut and sesame seeds. The sourness promoted by the tomato and tamarind also help to revoke the richness of the peanut sauce dish. This dish is best served with Kuska biryani or plain biryani or Naan flat bread.

Eggplant in Peanut Sauce

 

Ingredients :

 

Big red onion : 1
Medium ripe tomato :  1
Green chillies : 4
Small eggplants (round) : 11
Tamarind paste : 1/2  tsp 
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Oil : for deep the eggplants
Palm sugar : 1 tsp (optional)
Salt : as needed


Chilli- Peanut Paste : (dry roast and grind to smooth paste by adding water)

Dry red chillies: 5-6 ( adjust accordingly)
Coriander seeds: 1 1/4 tbsp
Grated coconut : 3 tbsp
White sesame seeds : 3 tbsp
Raw peanuts (without skin) : 3 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds : 6
Star anise : 1
Cloves : 3
Cinnamon : 1/2 inch piece
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds : 1/4 tsp


To Temper :


Cooking oil : 3 tbsp
Black cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf : 1



Method :

  1. Dry roast the ingredients under 'Dry Roast' section till light golden brown in a pan. You can fry peanut and sesame seeds separately without oil. Grind them with enough water to a smooth paste. 

2. Finely chop the onion and tomato. Slit the green chillies and extract tamarind paste. 

3. Make four intersections to the eggplant starting from the smooth bottom of it till you reach the stem of the eggplant without cutting through it.. This is to allow the peanut paste to infuse all flavor into the fried eggplant. Deep fry the eggplants with added salt till golden brown. Drain the fried eggplants into a plate with absorbent paper.

4. Add oil into heated pan, temper all ingredients under 'To Temper' section. Then start adding finely chopped onion and slitted green chillies. Fry till onion is translucent and slightly brown in color. 

5. Next, add finely chopped tomato and salt. Fry till tomato is mashed. Now, you may add peanut paste, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste, 1 tsp jaggery, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and enough salt. 

6. Add enough water, and fried eggplants, cook them on low flame for 15-20 minutes till the eggplant is cooked well and reach the consistency of gravy you prefer. Garnish 3 tbsp of coriander leaves. This gravy should not be too watery or thick.

7. This gravy is tasty with flat breads, biryani or plain rice. 

-Abby

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