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Bagara baingan in a kadai from above.
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5 from 3 votes

Bagara baingan - Hyderabadi eggplant curry

Big South Indian flavours and hotel style come together for a seriously satisfying vegetarian meal.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Bagara Baingan, Hyderabadi bagara baingan
Servings: 2
Calories: 667kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen

Ingredients

The eggplant

  • 4 small Indian eggplants look for something called brinjal or ratna
  • vegetable oil to lightly coat the eggplant
  • salt to taste

The spice mix

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

The nut paste

  • 2 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanuts - skin removed
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • water to make a paste

Bagara Baingan

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil - any neutral oil is fine
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp garlic ginger paste
  • 15 curry leaves fresh - dried isn't worth the bother
  • 1 cup Indian hotel gravy - recipe link below
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste - tamarind paste is not the same as tamarind concentrate
  • 1-2 small tomatoes - quartered
  • water to thin the final curry to your desired consistency

Instructions

Cook the eggplant

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  • Quarter each eggplant along the long axis (think potato wedge fries)
  • Toss with a little vegetable oil and salt.
  • Place on a baking sheet, skin side down and roast about 20 minutes.
  • At this point the skin will be really tough. Transfer the hot, roasted eggplant to a tupperware and cover. Let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. Tender skin.

Make the nut paste

  • This is actually easier with a mortar and pestle. You will fight hard using a mini food processor unless you make lots.
  • Combine the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds in your mortar and pestle. Beat on them to break them down. Add about 3 or 4 tablespoons of water and keep working them until you get something that looks like porridge but is semi-creamy. It won't be perfectly smooth like peanut butter but don't worry about it.

Make the bagara baingan

  • Choose a skillet that will hold all the ingredients.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the cumin and mustard seeds. If your oil is at the right temperature you should see little bubbles forming around them. Cook for around 20 seconds.
  • Add the garlic ginger paste and the curry leaves. Stir until the garlic ginger paste stops sputtering.
  • Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the spice mix. Stir to combine the spices with the oil. You want to gently fry the spices in the oil. This is calling blooming the spices and it's where the real magic happens. Be careful though. If the spices start to stick pick the pan up off the heat. You don't want them to burn. There's no fixing burned spices.
  • Stir in the hotel gravy. Really mix it in to get the oil to combine. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the coconut milk, nut paste and the tamarind paste.
  • Add the eggplant. Simmer for about a minute to warm through.
  • Look at the consistency. The nut paste really thickens this curry up. Add water until you get what you like. If you aren't vegetarian add chicken stock instead. I go for 5-6 tablespoons here.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer until everything is hot.
  • Serve as a vegetarian centrepiece along with rice and a nice tarka dal or chana masala. Or serve it as a side to go along with your favourite curries.

Notes

Make your Indian hotel gravy ahead of time. You can freeze it in portions and make curries whenever you feel like it.
As long as you are getting serious about your Indian cooking think about making your own garlic ginger paste. It makes a big difference.

Nutrition

Serving: 2g | Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 1164mg | Potassium: 1763mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1229IU | Vitamin C: 182mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 6mg