I came across the recipe for Kashmiri baingan while I was looking for the recipe for mirchi ke tipore. On the facing page, there were scribbled notes for how to make kashmiri baingan. I had written it down when we went to Jodhpur for a friend’s wedding. They are Jains and his mom had prepared this awesome dish without using any garlic or onions. I added onions and garlic to the recipe but if you want, you can always skip them and make just a tomato based gravy. I don’t know why it’s called Kashmiri Baingan or if there is a history of the dish originating from Kashmir, but I simply loved it.
Eggplant marinated in a yoghurt marinade, deep fried and then served with tangy, smooth tomato-onion gravy; this Kashmiri Baingan recipe is a celebration of eggplant. Who says vegetarians only have their paneer and potato; I can be left alone with an eggplant in my kitchen and come up with a different dish every day for more than a week.
Prep Time: 15 mins| Cooking Time 25 mins| Serves 2
1 large (200 – 250 gms) eggplant/baingan, cut into cubes
1 cup thick plain yoghurt
Salt to taste
2 tsp kashmiri red chilly powder
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric powder
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4-5 tomatoes, blanched and puréed
1 tbsp vegetable oil + oil for frying
1 tbsp grated paneer (cottage cheese) and slivers of green chilli
* To prepare the marinade, mix together asafoetida, salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder into the yoghurt.
* Cut the eggplant into ~1 inch cubes and coat them with the yoghurt marinade. Keep aside for 10 mins and then deep fry till they golden brown.
* To blanch the tomatoes, make a cross cut into the skin of tomatoes and boil them in water for about 10 mins. Remove from heat and run them through cold water. The skin will peel off easily. Purée the blanched tomatoes.
* Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and onions. Sauté for 5 mins till the onions start to become soft.
* Add the puréed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix well and sauté till the gravy leave oil on the side.
* Remove the onion-tomato gravy from heat and blend to a smooth gravy. I simply use my hand blender right into the pot.
* To serve, put the deep fried baingan pieces on a platter and then add the tomato-onion gravy on top. Garnish with grated paneer (cottage cheese) and green chilly slivers.
Food is never just food. I believe it’s story telling, it’s conversation. It brings people together and it speaks a universal language! I love to play around in my kitchen. The thrill of being able to create something new and sharing it with others is what fuels my passion for cooking. The fact that dear husband is a foodie and an honest critique helps! I blog about my adventures in the kitchen at http://www.myweekendkitchen.in/