Khattay Baingun (Tangy Eggplant)
Eid is for three days but the food and parties affiliated with the occasion last a bit longer. My mom asked for a short break from meat which was not taken well by my kids and after a little negotiation they agreed for one meatless day. There are some vegetables I am not very fond of; I talked about one of such items in an older post, Cauliflower dip, and eggplant is one of them…love how it looks but not so crazy about the taste. Surprisingly I cook real mean dishes out of it and my father in law used to say that I make the best eggplant, baingun in Urdu. I don’t know how… Never tried to yet that is how it is. These are home grown by the way 🙂
Khattay Bingun can be cooked in a variety of ways .. the one I am suggesting is one of the easiest and you will be done in 30-35 minutes. To give richness and depth to the flavor we are using poppy seeds and desiccated coconut but you can omit. If you like to cook them as whole, put slits in each eggplant and put in the pot WITHOUT filling each with the masala and I promise they will be as flavorful as the stuffed ones.
Method is simple, grind all masalas together, cook for few minutes and add in the vegetables.
When done they’ll look like this..
And if you prefer, you can remove the green part and chopped the vegetable in cubes. This version would be like,
To make them tangy we are adding tamarind. Soak 3 tbsp. of tamarind in about 1/3 cup of water for 10-15 minutes to soften. Then squeeze the pulp and use the pulpy water. Discard the seeds. Or use white distillled vinegar for the tangy/ khatta flavor. Adjust the seasoning, spice and tanginess as per liking. Ready? Shall we cook? Let’s do this.
Get the maximum flavor in minimum time.
- 1 large onion, cut in 4 pieces
- 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (khaskhaash) optional
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut optional
- 1 tbsp white cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 cup tomato puree or 5-6 chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
- 1 kg eggplant, washed whole or chopped
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp corriander powder
- 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
- 2-3 medium green chillies, chopped
- 7-8 curry leaves optional
- 1/4 cup tamarind pulp or use 3 tbsp white vinegar
Grind together onion, poppy seeds, desiccated coconut and white cumin seeds with little water using a small electric blender.
Heat oil in a large pot or wok and add in onion mixture. Cook till slightly brown in color, approximately 4-5 minutes.
Add in ginger garlic paste, tomato puree (or tomatoes) and onion seeds and fry till water is evaporated and oil is separated from the masala.
Put eggplant into the pan, chopped or whole with salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, green chillies and curry leaves. Pour in half cup of water and let cook on medium flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring twice during the cooking time.
Add in tamarind pulp or vinegar and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the flame. Sprinkle fresh green coriander and serve with raita or green chutney with roti/naan or rice.