Baghara Baingan ( An opulent Hyderabadi curry )

During my years in Hyderabad, one of the curries that remained my favorite was the 'baghara baingan'. It was one of those curries that was regularly served by at the office canteen and also in the PG. Rich and spicy, it is a great side dish with some flavored rice. While I personally prefer it with some Pudina rice, many folks find it great with some Vegetable pulao or even vegetable biryani ! It can even be served as a substitute for 'mirchi ka salan'.

While the original version invariably uses peanuts, I substituted it with cashews. The resulting curry was equally rich but somewhat different in flavour and equally tasty. Since quite a few adults and especially kids are prone to peanut allergy, I can vouch that you can make this delicious curry without using peanuts in it.

Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 7-8 small eggplants
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tsp GG paste
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • a lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • salt to taste
  • oil for shallow frying



For the paste -


  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 6-7 cashews
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dry red chilis


Preparation - Put 3-4 slits along the length of the eggplants. Make sure that the cut is only till 3/4 of the length and not more.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves, broken red chili and bay leaf. Once it gets fragrant, add cashews and poppy seeds. Once the cashew turns golden, add the sesame seeds. Fry for 1 min.

Add the coconut to the same pan. Fry for 30 seconds and switch off.

Allow it to cool down and then grind into a coarse paste.

Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water, Squeeze the juice and discard the pulp.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in a pan for shallow frying.

Add the aubergines and fry on medium flame till the outer skin is completely brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.

Drain off the excess oil from the pan.

Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Let it splutter before adding the chopped onion and curry leaves.

Once onion is translucent, add GG paste. Fry for 2-3 mins before adding the paste along with 1 cup water.

Once it gets to a boil, add the turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Add salt to taste. Gently put the fried eggplants into the gravy.

Let it simmer for 5-6 mins before adding the tamarind pulp. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for another 5-6 mins before removing from the flame.

















Serve with any kind of pulav or even biryani !!


















Note - This curry tastes best when warm or at room temperature.

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