Indian Food Fiesta: Dahi Baingan / Sauteed Eggplants with Yogurt

I am sure that you know a lot of people who keep running away from vegetables, unless you are one yourself. But there are some recipes which even the veggie-haters would find compelling. I strongly feel that dahi baingan is one of them. I personally love eggplants, be it the Bong-favourite begun bhaja (fried eggplants) or the north Indian flavours of baingan ka bharta (grilled and minced eggplants) or in the form of Italian parmigiana (eggplant parmesan). Moreover, eggplants are most easily available everywhere almost throughout the year. So nothing should stop you from trying out this super simple yet delicious recipe.


Dahi Baingan

INGREDIENTS:

Eggplant: 1 (medium sized)
Onions (finely chopped): 1/2 cup *
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Ginger (finely chopped): 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Fennel seeds: 2 tsp (Grind it into a powder)
Yogurt: 1 cup
Gram flour/ besan: 2 tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

* You may substitute the onions with a pinch of hing e.i. asafoetida.

PROCEDURE:

Dice the eggplant in half inch thick pieces. Add the gram flour/besan in the yogurt and mix well. This prevents the yogurt from curdling.


Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, ginger and onions. Saute till the onions are golden brown.


Add the eggplant and some salt. Mix it well. Then cover the pan and let it eggplant cook for 10 to 12 minutes. You may toss the eggplants a couple of times in between and check if they are cooked.


Once the eggplant is cooked, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and fennel seed powder in it.


Give it a mix for a minute or two, till all the pieces get nicely coated in the masala.


Now add the yogurt mixture. Add some more salt if needed.


Mix everything together and let it come to a boil. Then cook it for another 2 to 3 minutes.


Serve it with pulao, roti or paratha.

Photographs by Swakshar Ghosh

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