Eggplant or as we Indians call it.. Baingan.. is not really a vegetable that either I or my hubby like. BUT, fried egg-plant slices in a thick coconut-cashew gravy.. now thats a keeper.. I got the idea of making this from one our closest friends here in the U.S. So here's a spicy, rich eggplant side dish.. Have it with rotis, naan, parathas, rice or even biriyani.. Believe me guys, its heavenly!!
By the way, the 'twist' in my blog title refers to this - traditional bagara baingan is made with ground peanuts and small round egg-plants. I, however, have customized it my way with thin slices of large egg-plants and cashew gravy. Basically because I had neither small eggplants nor peanuts. Duh. But its still yummmmm.. Enuff of yapping I know, lets get started..
Eggplant - 1 large
Onions - 1 large
Green chillies - 4 long
Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
Garlic - 4 pods
Ginger, finely chopped - 1 Tsp
Cashewnuts - 1/4 cup
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves to season
Tamarind - small chunk equivalent to 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
Chilly powder (optional, if you need extra spicy) - 1Tsp
Garam masala - 2 Tsp
Coriander powder - 2 Tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Oil - 3 Tbsp
- Cut eggplant into thin round slices
- Finely chop onions and green chillies
- Soak the tamarind in 3 tbsps of warm water
- Roast the cashewnut in a saucepan till light brown and remove them to cool.
- In same saucepan, add 2 Tbsp of oil, some salt and fry the eggplant slices separately (not over-lapping) until they are tender and lightly fried. Remove them and place on tissue paper
- Grind the roasted cashewnuts, garlic cloves, coconut shreds and dry red chillies with some water to form a paste
- Now for the main part, saute cumin seeds and onions in 1 Tbsp oil till onions caramelize
- Add the green chillies, ginger and all the spices and simmer cook for a minute
- Add the ground paste to this and cook on low heat for about 8 minutes. If you would like a bit more gravy consistency, you can wash out the remaining paste from blender with water and add that to the cooking gravy
- Add the tamarind water and let the gravy cook for a few minutes.
- Finally, add the fried eggplant slices into the gravy. Cook on low heat for a final 3 minutes
- Season with coriander leaves