Baghare Baingan

by Robert Booz

This is a traditional Southern Indian recipe. Enjoy it with rice and warm naan. It makes for wonderful leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 small eggplants (about the size of a baseball)
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 jalapeno or cayenne chili, minced
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ginger, very finely minced
  • 1 tsp. garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 1½ cup of water
  • salt, to taste
  • Roast together in a dry pan until fragrant and lightly browned:
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
Baghare Baingan

Sybil Teles

Baghare Baingan, a flavorful side or main course.

Split the eggplants into quarters leaving them connected at the stem. Use a mortar and pestle or a food processor to blend the roasted ingredient, peanuts, tamarind, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and chilies into a paste with about a teaspoon of salt, adding a little water if necessary for the paste to come together. Fill the eggplants well with this mixture. Fry the eggplants in a large skillet over medium heat, rotating every couple of minutes, until the skin is blistered and the flesh is softened (about 10 minutes). Remove the eggplants and add the onions to the pan, cooking until they are soft and well browned (about 10 minutes). Add the water to the pan to deglaze, scraping the bottom of any stuck-on bits. Place the eggplants back in the pan and cover, cook for about 10 more minutes, or until the eggplants are well stewed, stirring occasionally and tasting for additional salt. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.