Pan roasted aubergine in a zingy gravy is termed ‘Baingan Ka Salan‘ baingan meaning brinjal/aubergine/eggplant, a flavorsome dish from the farmlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India with a slight twist. This dish can be cooked with okra (ladies finger) when it is termed ‘Bhindi ka salan‘ or with green chili termed ‘Mirchi Ka Salan‘, wherein the okra or the chili peppers are crisp fried and cooked in a gravy. I have avoided the deep frying part, keeping it relatively low fat and adding pan roasted aubergine instead. It is delicious none the less with the yogurt and all the spices.
Serve with steaming hot rice or any flat bread of your choice and enjoy a delicious meal be it a weekday or the weekend.
2 large onions roughly chopped into large chunks (or 3 medium sized onions)
2 teaspoons of oil
1 large aubergine chopped into 1 to 1&1/2-inch long chunks
For the gravy>>
5 teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon black cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed powder (saunf powder)
1/2 to 1 cup of water
For the yogurt paste>>
1 cup plain yogurt (curds)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
a pinch of turmeric powder
- First, cook the onion chunks in salted boiling water until tender and drain.
- Prepare a paste of this cooked onion adding a small amount of water in a mixer grinder, keep this ready.
In a pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil, add the aubergine chunks and pan fry initially at medium-high heat, then at medium heat, such that the aubergine brown up on the sides and also cooks. Stir on and off as you cook.
Once roasted, transfer the pieces to an absorbent paper towel.
5.Using the same deep pan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil, add the ginger-garlic paste and saute. When the paste turns brown, add the boiled onion paste and allow this to cook.
- While that is simmering, prepare the yogurt paste by adding red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric. Whisk this well.
- Add the yogurt paste to the pan, stir and cook at low heat adding salt to taste (but remember the onions are salted already)
Stir to combine and cook adding additional 1 cup of water.
- Then add green and black cardamom powders, fennel seed powder, the roasted aubergine, mix and turn off the heat.
- Serve with steaming hot rice or any flat bread of your choice.
Note: an optional step would be to add 2 teaspoons of corn flour mixed with 1/2 a cup of water and added into the gravy and brought to a boil. This stabilises the gravy and might avoid the separation of the yogurt when heated. However, if you keep the heat at low and stir on adding the yogurt mixed with spices, bringing it to a boil and the heat switched off, separation of the yogurt can be avoided and there will be no need for the cornflour slurry.
Recipe adapted from ndtv.com